In April of 2010 a massive oil spill resulting from an explosion at the Deepwater Horizon rig occurred. The infamous spill lasted months and resulted in a number of oil worker deaths and at least 200 million gallons of oil to enter the Gulf of Mexico. Extensive damage occurred across the Gulf of Mexico, the beaches and to the wildlife calling the region home.
Various estimations have been made regarding how much British Petroleum, the owner of the well which caused the massive spill, is required to pay for the resulting disaster. According to BP, the company has thus far paid over $22 billion for various operations, including cleanup response. $8.1 billion is said to have been paid to the government, businesses and various individuals to this point. However, a recent settlement has BP reportedly spending another $7.8 billion.
A trial that was scheduled to begin on Monday has reportedly been proposed due to a potential settlement between BP and approximately 100,000 fishermen and cleanup workers from the massive spill in 2010. The fishermen are suing due to the loss of their livelihood after the spill and many of the individuals working to clean oil from the beaches and sea were said to become sick from their efforts. BP is said to be settling the case with $7.8 billion. However, BP is still facing further legal battles with the United States government.
The U.S. government will be seeking claims regarding the BP oil spill through the Department of Justice. State and local governments are also involved in claims against the BP company. The plethora of claims include those under the Clean Water Act and the Oil Pollution Act. It is unknown how much BP will be required to pay if these claims are rewarded.
The Department of Justice released a statement, including: “While we are pleased that BP may be stepping up to address harms to individual plaintiffs, this by no means fully addresses its responsibility for the harms it has caused.”