Environmental and Energy Law Blog

Saturday, May 7, 2016

Record Breaking Settlement in BP Oil Spill Case Approved

How much with the oil spill cost BP?

In 2010, one of the largest environmental disasters in history took place off the coast of the United States: the BP oil spill.  In April of that year, an oilrig called the Deepwater Horizon exploded in the Gulf of Mexico.  The accident killed 11 workers and caused millions of gallons of oil to be released into the ocean.  This caused immeasurable damage to the Gulf States.  BP was brought to court and now it seems that the historic litigation is coming to a close.

The litigation, based in New Orleans and presided over by U.S. District Court Judge Carl Barbier, has been going on for years.  The judge previously found that BP was grossly negligent in relation to the accident.  In July of 2015, it was announced that a settlement has been reached.  The court recently approved that settlement. BP is obligated to pay out over $20 billion.  $5.5 billion of the settlement will go towards Clean Water Act penalties and the rest will go to the 5 severely damaged Gulf States.  This is the largest settlement in the history of environmental law.

This settlement is not all that BP will be responsible for.  The company recently reached a settlement with private residents and businesses for damage caused by the spill.  This litigation is still going on as many of the individual claims are still being processed. 

The U.S. Attorney General, Loretta Lynch, and Governor John Bel Edwards both expressed their approval of the settlement.  Even a BP spokesperson has commented that the company is happy with the settlement.  But, it is more than likely that no one at BP is happy that the accident is costing the company over $50 billion.

While there is big money in oil, gas and energy contracts, there is also big money involved if something goes wrong.  Make sure you are being proactive in protecting yourself if you are involved in any type of environmental transaction.  Contact a Houston, Texas attorney today.

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