Federal judge Carl Barbier approved the pay out of the medical portion of $7.8 billion in claims to the Gulf residents who sued BP following the Apr. 20, 2010 catastrophe. The decision comes soon after final approval of an economic and property loss settlement, and following an overarching decision by Barbier in March.
In a statement, BP's publicist Geoff Morrell said the company was pleased the Court granted approval to the PSC (Plaintiffs Steering Committee), thereby resolving "the substantial majority of legitimate medical claims stemming from the Deepwater Horizon accident."
Morrell said BP believes this settlement and the economic loss and property damage settlement approved December 21, "are good for the people, businesses and communities of the Gulf and are in the best interests of BP’s stakeholders."
Yet, even so BP may have a bigger fish to fry when it faces claims for Clean Water Act violations. Court is set to get underway in New Orleans Feb. 25 when the oil giant is investigated for potentially being "grossly negligent". If guilty, BP may have to pay out significantly more than over $5 billion, or over $1,100 per barrel "spilled."
On December 21, the Court gave final approval of the Economic and Property Damages Settlement. On January 11, final approval of the Medical Benefits Settlement was rendered. These approval orders and judgments can be viewed here (Economic Order & Reasons), here (Economic Judgment), here (Medical Order & Reasons), and here (Medical Judgment).
Bold marks are those of the Examiner's.