U.S. Coast Guard, via Agence France-Presse — Getty Images
Published: March 2, 2012
BP and the lawyers for plaintiffs in the trial over the 2010 oil spill in the Gulf of Mexico have agreed to settle their case.
Judge Carl J. Barbier of Federal District Court in New Orleans issued an order late Friday night stating that the two sides “have reached an agreement on the terms of a proposed class settlement which will be submitted to the court,” and announcing that the first phase of the trial, scheduled to begin on Monday, is adjourned indefinitely while the next steps are worked out.
BP issued a statement from the company’s chief executive, Robert Dudley, saying, “The proposed settlement represents significant progress toward resolving issues from the Deepwater Horizon accident and contributing further to economic and environmental restoration efforts along the Gulf Coast.” The company estimated that paying the claims would cost $7.8 billion — but it did not state that the estimate represented an upper limit on what it would pay. It said it had already paid out more than $8 billion to claimants, and had spent some $14 billion in responding to the spill.