BP oil spill settlement payments exceed $1B mark

BP oil spill settlement: Flames shoot up from the Deepwater Horizon in 2010. AP file photo

Flames shoot up from the Deepwater Horizon in 2010. AP file photo

Businesses and individuals who claim the BP oil spill in the Gulf of Mexico cost them money have been paid more than $1 billion through the company’s class-action settlement with a team of private plaintiffs’ attorneys, court-supervised claims administrator Patrick Juneau said.

The $1 billion that Juneau’s team has paid is for claims that were filed after the settlement was announced last year. They also paid an additional $404 million for claims that Juneau inherited after replacing the Gulf Coast Claims Facility led by Kenneth Feinberg.

The GCCF processed about 221,300 claims following the 2010 spill and paid out more than $6 billion before the court-supervised claims process was established in June 2012.

Juneau’s staff has handled more than 223,000 calls about the settlement and received more than 97,000 claims. He said 95 percent of claimants who were offered payments by his team decided to accept them.

“I feel this high rate of acceptance reflects the fairness of the settlement amounts as well as the fairness of the claims process,” Juneau said in a statement.

However, thousands of people and businesses opted out of the deal to pursue their claims individually.

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