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BP Hopes $7.8B Settlement Will Make Gulf Oil Spill Go Away

BP Hopes $7.8B Settlement Will Make Gulf Oil Spill Go Away

In an attempt to avoid a public trial, and 72 million pages of related legal documents (that’s 4.5 miles, in case anyone’s wondering), BP proposed a proposed $7.8 billion settlement deal on Friday.

Families and businesses impacted by the 2010 Gulf of Mexico oil spill filed over 100,000 civil claims against BP for negligent actions that contributed directly to the disaster. For those hit the hardest, the proposed settlement is not the end of the case, but the beginning of a new phase that still leaves many unanswered questions.

First, the settlement itself will have to be approved by Judge Carl J. Barbier, and even if it’s approved, plaintiffs will be able to opt out of the settlement to sue BP directly. But what about those who have already entered the arduous process at the Gulf Coast Claims Facility? Will they be lost in the shuffle if the settlement ends the current claims process?

What some find most disconcerting about the proposed settlement, aside from the fact that it’s a blatant attempt to button everything up before criminal charges can surface, is the fact that BP alone got to decide the dollar amount. It’s also important to note that the $7.8 billion the company claims should placate individual and business plaintiffs, will come out of the existing $20 billion fund that the government ordered it to set aside in 2010.

We’ll see what happens, but for now, the best news is that the proposed settlement has not affected the federal government’s suit against the company. “The federal claims stand to be far larger than those of private claimants,” reports The Boston Globe, “and could bring billions of dollars into the US Treasury in civil environmental fines under statutes such as the Clean Water Act, and potentially even more in criminal penalties.”

The government has indicated that it does not consider the matter closed, and will continue to seek restitution from BP on behalf of the Gulf of Mexico.

“The United States will continue to work closely with all five Gulf states to ensure that any resolution of the federal law enforcement and damage claims, including natural resources damages, arising out of this unprecedented environmental disaster is just, fair and restores the Gulf for the benefit of the people of the Gulf states,” the U.S. Justice Department said in a statement.

Related Reading:

BP Made $3 Million An Hour In 2011, While Gulf Victims Suffered

BP Pressured For $15 Million To Restore Oyster Habitats

Why Did The Fed Write Oil Spill Criminals A $42M Check?

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95 comments

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6:32AM PDT on Mar 28, 2012

A**hole Murderers!! Their dirty money could never compensate for the horror and suffering they have created for countless creatures and the environment. I hope they are not only sued by everybody on this planet but also rightfully persecuted for their crimes as an example for other greedy corporation to realize

5:45PM PDT on Mar 22, 2012

Delusional! It'll never go away!

8:28AM PDT on Mar 18, 2012

They've just gotten away with murder again. They've killed the Gulf ecosystem's and got a slap on the wrist. BAH!

10:17PM PST on Mar 6, 2012

No, the money won't make this spill just "go away", from memory, nor from the Gulf waters. What will go away - is the many different species of life, including the coral reef that shields the coast from surging cold waters. What has gone away are over 500 dolphins dying in the gulf streams at both ends of the gulf. The fishing industry of shrimp etc, has been ruined because people ask - where does this shrimp come from? I ask every time I look at the menu. I don't trust the food coming from the gulf region. How about those folks that live on the island of Cuba? Their food is effected as well. Nope, BP's money isn't going to make this problem "go away". The damage is done, and we don't know the full outcome of the damage, as yet!

11:41AM PST on Mar 6, 2012

they have the adaucity to try to settle for 7.8 billion dollars everybody in america should boycott them, last quarter they had profits of $247 billion, most of that i bet came from this country and i bet nobody will go after them to remove all of the oil on the seabed floor

6:45AM PST on Mar 6, 2012

BP must pay & pay dearly This matter must NEVER be closed and BP must make every effort on an ongoing basis to clean up their mess & be taken to task on a ongoing basis to ensure that something of this nature does NOT happen again!

5:09AM PST on Mar 6, 2012

We continue to buy gas, so they are still making outrageous profits.

11:20PM PST on Mar 5, 2012

The sad truth is just how Ron has put itI. It's all about the cost of getting away with something, and until we change that, or better yet stop the drilling alltogether, the people and environment will continue to suffer.

9:13PM PST on Mar 5, 2012

@CC C; I strongly believe that Japan is doing all it can to cover up as much as possible any and all info about the nuclear meltdown coming out of Japan.

As to America, we're famous, as a whole, for wanting to keep our heads down in the sand as long as possible! There just aren't enough people like us, here on Care2, demanding information. The rest are more concerned with what Kim Kardahsian does next. Or fill in the blank.

I too agree, that the meltdown should be a major issue and fear the long lasting damage done.

9:01PM PST on Mar 5, 2012

Of course it's unacceptable but I'll be surprised if they willingly raise it and sadly, I doubt that any real criminal charges ever get filed.
AND IF they do, it'll be a joke. BS charges with little to no punitive actions. And the company will just bop on along like nothing ever happened.

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