Washington, Mar 3(ANI): Petroleum giant British Petroleum (BP) has reportedly reached an agreement with its plaintiffs in the trial over the 2010 oil spill in the Gulf of Mexico.
The New Orleans District Court issued a statement saying that both sides "have reached an agreement on the terms of a proposed class settlement which will be submitted to the court."
The statement came ahead of the beginning of the first phase of the trial.
"The proposed settlement represents significant progress toward resolving issues from the Deepwater Horizon accident and contributing further to economic and environmental restoration efforts along the Gulf Coast," The New York Times quoted a BP statement, as saying.
The company estimated that paying the claims would cost 7.8 billion dollars, and pointed out that it had already paid over eight billion dollars to the claimants, and had spent some 14 million dollars in responding to the spill.
"This settlement will provide a full measure of compensation to hundreds of thousands - in a transparent and expeditious manner under rigorous judicial oversight," the two lawyers, Stephen J. Herman and James P. Roy who led the plaintiffs' steering committee, said.
The plaintiffs' group that reached the agreement with the company represents businesses and individuals affected by the spill.
The agreement calls for replacing the 20 billion dollar fund created by BP to compensate victims of the spill, and to pay natural resource damages and state and local response costs.
The explosion aboard the Deepwater Horizon rig had killed 11 rig workers and began a spill that for months spewed millions of barrels of oil into the Gulf of Mexico in April 2010. (ANI)
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