Plaintiffs' Steering Committee in BP Gulf Oil Spill Litigation Announces Settlement in Principle With BP

March 2, 2012

[New Orleans] -- The Plaintiffs' Steering Committee (PSC) spearheading the litigation surrounding the 2010 BP Gulf Oil Spill today announced that a settlement in principle has been reached with BP that will fully compensate hundreds of thousands of victims of the tragedy.

The settlement is to be fully funded by BP, with no cap on the amount BP will pay. BP is obligated to fully satisfy all eligible claims under the terms of the Court supervised settlement, irrespective of the funds previously set aside.

The agreement will resolve the majority of private economic loss, property damage and medical injury claims stemming from the Gulf Oil Spill. The settlement will hold BP fully accountable to individuals and businesses harmed by the spill.

Stephen J. Herman and James P. Roy, Plaintiffs' Co-Liaison Counsel said, "We are extremely pleased to bring justice to those harmed by the BP Gulf Oil Spill. This settlement will provide a full measure of compensation to hundreds of thousands -- in a transparent and expeditious manner under rigorous judicial oversight. It does the greatest amount of good for the greatest number of people."

Two separate settlement agreements have been reached with BP. The first settlement compensates private economic losses due to the Gulf Oil Spill. These claims include businesses and individuals that lost profits; sustained damage to coastal property, wetlands and personal property; sustained real property sales losses; lost subsistence use; and have claims for failure to pay under BP's Vessels of Opportunity Program. The second settlement compensates people with medical claims related to the spill and provides periodic medical consultation for the next 21 years. Claimants can participate in either or both settlement programs.

There will be no delay in the processing of economic loss claims while the heart of the claims process shifts to New Orleans, where Court supervision will ensure independence, fairness, transparency of process, and accountability. During the transition period claimants will be able to accept a percentage of their existing GCCF (Gulf Coast Claims Facility) offers while preserving their right to participate in the economic loss settlement.

"Under the new program, eligible claimants will generally be paid greater benefits than under the GCCF," said Herman and Roy.