Big news out of the Deepwater Horizon Claims Center last week when the claims administrator, Patrick Juneau, revealed that more than $2 billion has been paid out to individuals and businesses who lost money as a result of the 2010 oil spill.
The payments, which are part of the multibillion-dollar settlement reached between BP and private plaintiffs, have been issued quickly. Juneau says that in total, his office has sent offers to individuals and companies totaling $3.06 billion. The number of individual claims has now risen to 162,603. Of the amount offered, just over $2 billion ($2.08 billion to be precise) has been paid out.
Juneau commended Judge Barbier for overseeing the process and said that the numbers mark yet another important milestone in the claims process. Juneau said that the claims payment process only began in June of 2012 and in less than a year more than $3 billion in claims have been determined eligible for payment. His office has worked tirelessly to ensure those who were injured in the massive oil spill have been made whole.
Though Juneau and hundreds of thousands of plaintiffs have been thrilled with the claims progress, BP has taken a decidedly negative approach to the matter. According to a recent report by the BBC, BP has even approached the British government in an attempt to have them intervene and ask that the U.S. government prevent a continued explosion in oil spill costs.
According to the BBC, the company has said the rate at which it is spending money related to the oil spill could turn into a serious financial vulnerability for the company, potentially putting the company at risk of being taken over by a competitor. The BBC says that the company is so worried about the prospect that it is asking the British Prime Minister for help in persuading the U.S. government to intervene and prevent the oil giant from making what it describes as “undeserved payments.” The company says plaintiffs are abusing the terms of the settlement agreement and draining the company of much needed resources.
Plaintiffs and other oil industry experts say the reality is that BP made a deal without fully realizing the size of the potential claims. One expert said that BP wrote the plaintiffs a blank check and is now balking at the terms of its own agreement. While some agree that some of the claims being paid are inflated, they say that BP fully understood the terms when it made the agreement and now the company is attempting to get out of it.
If you’ve been impacted by this or any other oil spill, don’t hesitate to contact the Mississippi BP Deepwater Horizon oil spill lawyers at https://www.kobsphilley.com/ at toll free (601) 856-7800.
Source: “BP oil spill settlement payouts surpass $2 billion mark, administrator says,” by Richard Thompson, published at NOLA.com.
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