March 3, 2012- A $7.8 billion deal was reached by BP to settle claims by thousands of fishermen and other people affected by the April 2010 oil spill in the Gulf of Mexico. A trial is set to start that outcome is not affected by this settlement.
Experts believe the trial will produce billions of dollars worth of fines from the government of the U.S. and states and cities along the Gulf coast that were impacted by the oil spill. The new deal also does not resolve any of the lawsuits that shareholders have filed or those that companies have filed due to the drilling moratorium issued following the United States’ worst environmental disaster in history.
The CEO of BP, Bob Dudley said, “The settlement represents substantial progress in resolving many issues from the accident. Plus it will help to contribute to additional environmental and economic restoration along the coast.”
The deal delayed yet again the impending trial, as last Sunday the trial was postponed for a week to allow talks on the settlement to continue. The judge presiding over the case adjourned it indefinitely to give the parties involved time to reassess their positions.
The case is expected to go to trial nevertheless because BP wants to shift part of the cost to subcontractors. The move is complex and likely will take years and a number of appeals before it is completely resolved.
The explosion that caused the spill killed 11 drillers and blackened coastal beaches in five states. The fishing and tourism industries were devastated along the Gulf Coast following the spill.