NEW ORLEANS (Legal Newsline) - Federal judge Carl Barbier has taken the next step in settlement proceedings in the BP Deepwater Horizon trial.

Barbier ordered the claims process that has been run by Gulf Coast Claims Facility since shortly after the disaster and during the Gulf oil spill to be taken over by court-appointed administrator attorney Patrick Juneau of Lafayette. Juneau's appointment was part of the settlement agreement worked out between BP and the plaintiff's steering committee.

The $20 billion fund was set up to process third party claims arising from the incident including from those in the surrounding community who were hurt economically due to the incident.

Plaintiffs' attorney Scot Summy, of Dallas-based Baron and Budd, said the court's administration of the fund should be more efficient and fairer than when it was run by the Gulf Coast Claims Facility.

Attorney Lynn Greer of Virgina has been named by Barbier to serve as coordinator of the transition process.

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