BP reaches settlement in oil spill case

Kyle Barnett Mar. 3, 2012, 10:36am


NEW ORLEANS (Legal Newsline) - U.S. Federal Judge Carl Barbier has filed a motion announcing a settlement agreement between BP and the plaintiffs' steering committee in the Deepwater Horizon case.

The motion, submitted Friday, revealed an agreement has been reached on the proposed class action settlement, which will now be submitted to the court for approval. Barbier says counsel from each side met with U.S. Magistrate Sally Shushan to work out the agreement.

Barbier reported the settlement will likely result in a realignment of the parties in the lawsuit and require substantial changes to the trial plan. Phase I of the trial was scheduled to begin Monday but was delayed for settlement talks.

The court reports they will engage in a status conference to work out the details of the settlement before setting up a subsequent trial.

A report by The Associated Press says BP expects to pay $7.8 billion in the settlement.

Claims against public entities remain, said Alabama Attorney General Luther Strange on Saturday.

"The settlement announced last night between BP and private plaintiffs does not impact Alabama's claims against BP and the other defendants for the damage done to our economy and environment," he said.

"We are fully prepared to try our case, and we hope that the court sets a new trial date in the near future. Alabama will continue to work closely with the United States Department of Justice and the other Gulf States to hold BP and the other defendants fully accountable for the disaster in the Gulf."

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