Despite objections from the Mississippi attorney general and a BP contractor, as well as others, U.S. District Judge Carl Barbier said he will decide within a week whether to rule in favor of granting a proposed class action settlement over the BP Gulf of Mexico oil spill disaster. The settlement would resolve about $7.8 billion in claims, however that is an estimate, as there would be no cap on the settlement.
The Associated Press reports Judge Barbier as saying, “This has been a very impressive effort on the part of counsel…in terms of getting to where you all are today.” He compared the case to the Exxon Valdez litigation that took nearly 20 years to resolve, saying, “I did not intend for this case to go on for 20 years, not with me in charge of it.”
Objections to the settlement are coming from various groups, including commercial fisherman who said the settlement has “significant flaws” that would not protect many in the industry against future risks. Attorney General Jim Hood said the settlement would exclude 200,000 businesses and individuals.
Judge Barbier said his approval for the class action settlement would only be a starting point, and objections would be considered later. He wrote that would hold a “fairness hearing” later in the year, before giving final approval.