US judge approves settlement in BP class action suit
A US judge on Friday gave final approval to BP Plc's settlement with individuals and businesses who lost money and property in the 2010 Gulf of Mexico oil spill.The order only addressed the settlement of economic and property damage claims, not a separate medical benefits settlement for cleanup workers and others who say the spill made them sick.BP has estimated that it will pay $7.8 billion to settle more than 100,000 claims in the class action litigation.London-based BP's Macondo well spewed 4.9 million barrels of oil into the Gulf of Mexico over a period of 87 days. The torrent fouled shorelines from Texas to Alabama and eclipsed the 1989 Exxon Valdez spill in Alaska in severity.Separate from the class action claims, BP has been locked in a year-long legal battle with the US government and Gulf Coast states to settle billions of dollars in civil and criminal liability from the explosion.In a settlement with the US government announced last month, BP agreed to pay $4.5 billion in penalties and plead guilty to felony misconduct. The government also indicted the two highest-ranking BP supervisors aboard the Deepwater Horizon rig during the disaster, charging them with 23 criminal counts including manslaughter.
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