BP Settlement Funds Paid to State and Claimants Transforms Louisiana

Millions of dollars paid out as part of BP’s legal settlement over the 2010 Deepwater Horizon in Louisiana has already transformed Louisiana, according to coverage in The Advertiser. In total, close to $6 billion will be paid out to the state to address the damage done by the oil spill, with an additional $10 billion also paid out for individual claims.

Approximately $200 million for the state and $600 million to claimants from eight Acadiana parishes has been paid out thus far. Other funds will go towards the Deepwater Horizon Economic and Property Damages Settlement Program, the Gulf Coast Claims Facility, and the various federal agencies, state governments, and local government entities for areas covering Key West, Florida to Bridge City, Texas.

The Legacy of Deepwater Horizon

The Deepwater Horizon disaster is one Louisiana residents will likely never forget: With eleven people killed and more than 60 injured by the incident itself, oil continued to pour into the Gulf of Mexico for close to 90 days, destroying the coastal environment, wildlife, water, and livelihoods, especially for those who worked in the seafood industry. This led to close to 400,000 claims being filed by individuals in Louisiana, many of them linked to coastal crabbers, fishermen, and shrimpers, who are now also being provided with some support from the $2.3 billion Seafood Compensation Program.

The Settlement Process and Impacts on Louisiana

In spite of the settlement agreed to, BP started pushing back once it realized just how many claimants were involved in the case—individuals who had been harmed in one way or another by the Deepwater Horizon disaster. BP started fighting these claims and limiting payouts agreed to starting around 2013. However, in its fight, the company ran into setbacks in the courts, which insisted that the company stick to the settlement terms agreed to. Much of the credit associated with the settlement resolution is owed to U.S. Judge Carl Barbier of Louisiana’s Eastern District and U.S. Magistrate Judge Sally Shushan, as well as Louis Freeh, court appointed special master for the case, who helped provide guidance in reaching the settlements.

According to those involved in the resolution process, most of the settlement funds will go towards fixing Louisiana’s coast, directly paying for coastal restoration costs and expenses related to repairing the state’s natural resources.

Environmental Hazard Attorneys Based in New Orleans

Disasters happen, often when companies cut corners and, in doing so, behave negligently, placing innocent people in harm’s way. The law firm of Harrell & Nowak has spent years litigating against negligent parties that bring about environmental hazards and degradation. If you are seeking justice in response to damage that has done damage to your community and/or family, we can help. We serve New Orleans, Metairie, Kenner, and other areas throughout Louisiana. Contact us today for a free consultation.