BP to settle 2,000 Gulf Coast claims

Feb. 12, 2011 at 9:03 AM
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NEW ORLEANS, Feb. 12 (UPI) -- British petroleum giant BP is set to pay 2,000 claims for damages incurred during the Deepwater Horizon oil spill from the summer of 2010, an attorney said.

Daniel Becnel, a Louisiana attorney has been negotiating some of the settlements, said the new round of payoffs range from $10,000 to $30 million, The Washington Post reported Saturday.

BP set up a $20 billion Gulf Coast Claims Facility last year. To date, the company has settled 168,634 claims for a total pay out of $3.4 billion. About 500,000 claims have been filed.

Becnel praised fund manager Kenneth Feinberg for doing "a fabulous job" settling claims, but others have criticized the manager for pressuring some to drop lawsuits.

Feinberg has been telling claimants that working with the fund will have better returns than going through the courts, the Post reported.

The latest round of payments includes settlements for oystermen, who will be compensated for losses through 2012, because it takes three years for oysters to grow to a size that can be harvested.

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