More than $1 billion paid for BP oil spill claims

More than $1 billion paid for BP oil spill claims

Credit: AP

A oil cleanup worker rakes the sand in Orange Beach, Ala., Sunday, July 18, 2010. BP hopes to keep using its giant stopper to block oil from reaching the Gulf of Mexico until they plug the blown out well permanently, the company said Sunday. Retired U.S. Coast Guard Adm. Thad Allen outlined a different plan on Saturday, saying that after the test was complete, the cap would be hooked up through nearly a mile of pipes stretching to ships on the surface that will collect the oil. (AP Photo/Dave Martin)

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wwltv.com

Posted on January 9, 2013 at 2:04 PM

Updated Wednesday, Jan 9 at 2:05 PM

David Hammer / Eyewitness News
Email: dhammer@wwltv.com | Twitter: @davidhammerWWL

More than $1 billion has been paid for BP oil spill economic damages through a class-action settlement.

The court-appointed claims administrator, Lafayette attorney Patrick Juneau, announced that his claims facility had surpassed the billion-dollar threshold in a year-end report.

“This has been a monumental process,” Juneau said. “Not only have we paid over $1 billion since we established the process on June 4, 2012, but we have also determined there are $1.556 billion in eligible claims thus far.”

That means Juneau is in the process of paying another $500 million in claims he’s already OK’d. And his staff paid yet another $400 million in the spring of 2012 as a part of the transition from the previous claims czar, Kenneth Feinberg.

But there’s still a long way to go in the payment process. There have been 97,000 claims filed so far, and BP has estimated it will pay claimants about $7.8 billion through the settlement process. Most people have until April 22, 2014 (four years after the Deepwater Horizon rig sank), to file a claim, but the deadline is almost here for the most directly affected group of claimants: fishermen and other seafood leaseholders and harvesters.

There is a fixed, $2.3 billion seafood settlement and the deadline to file a claim for that money is Jan. 22, less than two weeks from now.

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