The BP Settlement
The BP Settlement is a move that is aimed at compensating the victims of the oil spill that happened fifty miles off the shore of Louisiana. This massive oil spill interfered with the property, revenue, lives and health of many residents inhabiting the surrounding Gulf areas, necessitating a major BP settlement to help the residents of the area. The BP Settlement aims to improve the living conditions of the area while enabling the residents to cope with the massive changes that the oil spill imposed on their lives.
The BP Settlement has been in effect since 2011. The oil spill that took place in 2010 led to a series of legal battles between the state, individual plaintiffs and BP which led to a compromise of the BP Settlement.
The state sued BP for gross negligence and willful misconduct. The US Department of Justice emphasized that the oil rig that exploded leading to massive pollution of the surrounding water and land areas could have been avoided if only the management had been keener on the information they were being given at the time by the oil rig supervisors.
Emails that show the laxity of BP management in taking control of the situation at the Maconda oil rig was enough evidence to show that the company just watched as an impending disaster went out of control. The email exchanges between BP management and the oil rig supervisors cited the situation of the oil rig before the final explosion as volatile. However, the top management of the company took it lightly, something the government called a culture of corporate recklessness.
Individual plaintiffs have sued BP on the grounds of personal injury especially in their health and well-being and also for damage to property and negligence. This is in line with the state of the Gulf of Mexico, which three years later, is still grappling with ecological balance and a myriad of diseases on the residents, birds and sea creatures in the area.
People have been rendered jobless and some sectors of the economy have been left in the dumps. For instance, tourism and the fishing industries have been brought down to their knees. The food processing industries especially those that specialize in seafood have also been crippled. The lifestyle of the people of the Gulf of Mexico and surrounding areas were affected by the oil spill and continue to suffer to date. The BP Settlement is one of the only ways to deal with the spill consequences.
BP and the BP Settlement
BP still rejects the charge of gross misconduct and lays blame on Transocean for the state of the oil rig at the time of the explosion. However, the state disagrees and has in the past filed a lawsuit that blames BP entirely for this mishap. This oil spill is the biggest disaster in the history of oil drilling and however much BP tries to rid itself of the blame, it cannot deny the fact that its role in the oil spill was a major one.
On August 31, 2011, the Department of Justice filed papers in a federal court in New Orleans citing gross negligence and willful misconduct on BP PLC actions. The failure of BP officials in running a negative pressure test again when the first test showed some anomaly was an action of negligence on BP’s part. A retest would have required that the blowout preventer to be shut down thus preventing the oil from flowing into the ocean before the blowout. This is a simple test that would have prevented the oil spill. Yet the officials ignored it, a display the DOJ cites as gross negligence.
BP asserts itself that the ecosystem has undergone a robust recovery and that the clean-up exercise they embarked on after the spill was largely over. The DOJ continues to refuse BP’s explanation citing that there is more than meets the eye in the recovery and clean-up process. BP disagrees with the DOJ. The DOJ continues to state that simply because a shoreline area has been unlisted from the response action list does not mean that it does not continue to suffer the long term consequences of the oil spill.
Fines, Penalties and the BP Settlement
BP and the DOJ reached a BP Settlement in November 14, 2012. BP paid a fine of $4.5 billion. BP also pleaded guilty to 11 felony counts for the death of its 11 workers. The government has prepared a $16 billion settlement for BP but the settlement is yet to be finalized or made official.
Transocean and Halliburton are companies associated with the exploded oil rig. These two companies were also found guilty and had to pay fines for violating the Clean Water Act. Punitive damages are also expected to be paid out by the three companies.
In January 13, 2013, Judge Carl Barbier approved a portion of the proposed BP medical benefits. The benefits covered anyone who had been injured by the oil spill within sixty days of the occurrence and who have supporting documentation. Such victims as those who took part in the clean-up exercise were eligible for benefits. Another medical outreach program which is a $105 million BP settlement that is set to span a period of more than five years will also cover any affected resident of the Gulf of Mexico.
Qualified Attorneys for the BP Settlement
The best way to receive your maximum BP Settlement is by being represented by a qualified attorney. The attorneys we work with are well-versed with BP Settlement cases and can get you full compensation if you’re eligible. Whether it is business revenue lost, or your health was affected by the chemicals used to disperse the oil, we can help you connect with an experienced attorney.
We offer free consultations and you will only pay fees if you receive a settlement. We are a phone call away. Simply dial 1-800-BP-CLAIM and get started on your way to a BP Settlement. You can also complete our form online and we will get in touch with you in 24 hours.