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article imageBritish Petroleum's $7.8 billion payout approved by judge

By Can Tran     Dec 23, 2012 in Environment
Just recently, a US District Judge approved a settlement in which British Petroleum is paying out $7.8 billion dollars to anybody that agreed to settle.
In politics, let alone United States politics, energy has been one of the biggest hot topic issues. This is a major policy issue in regards to environment, energy, and economics during the election cycles. When it comes to energy needs, oil becomes a major debate topic. Since 2010, oil in general has become a major political topic. Back in 2010, there was one of the most devastating oil spills in the world let alone in the United States. In that year, the British Petroleum oil rig known as the Deepwater Horizon exploded. There were deaths that resulted in the explosion of the rig.
Oil came out from the rig and turned into a major environmental disaster. Currently, there is a criminal trial going on in regards to the 11 people that died on the Deepwater Horizon. Also, BP was recently slapped with a ban from the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA). Under this ban, BP and its affiliates are not allowed to bid for new contracts with the United States. Still, BP gets to keep its current contracts. This ban is in effect until BP is able to prove it meets business standards set by the United States government.
A ruling has been handed out in regards to a class-action lawsuit against BP. The US District Judge presiding over the case issued a 125-page ruling. In this ruling, the payout from BP to those that have been affected by the oil spill has been approved. According to estimates, the settlement is worth $7.8 billion which is to come out of a $20 billion trust.
Furthermore, there are no caps on payments to anybody that agreed to the settlement from BP; however, an exception was made if the claims had anything to do with seafood. Almost a third of the settlement money will be paid to those that work in the seafood industry. Keep in mind that there are those that didn't agree to the settlement because they feel that the money wouldn't be enough.
The rest of the cash would be used to cover economic and medical claims. However, that's not all the money that BP is paying. Further payments from BP include a settlement of $525 million for securities claims and another $4.5 billion in fines. In short, BP is paying out billions of dollars in fines and settlements.
Keep in mind that the settlement doesn't mean it is over. You still have the criminal cases going on. Two employees, Robert Kaluza & Donald Vidrine, are on trial for the deaths of the 11 people on the rig. They are charged with multiple felony counts of manslaughter. David Rainey, a former BP executive, is charged with not disclosing information to Congress about the amount of oil that spilled out from the rig.
In February 2013, there's the civil case against BP.
More about BP, British petroleum, Deepwater horizon, Oil, bp oil spill
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