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justdhf
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PostSubject: BP Gulf Spill Settlement:   Tue Oct 23, 2012 10:04 pm

BP Gulf Spill Settlement: Oil Company Asks Judge to Finalize Deal Despite Objections

By MICHAEL KUNZELMAN

Oil giant BP has asked a federal judge to disregard objections from a fraction of claimants and give final approval to a proposed multibillion-dollar settlement over economic damages from the Gulf oil spill.

BP was joined in the request by plaintiffs' attorneys who helped broker the class-action deal spawned by the 2010 disaster. BP estimates it will pay $7.8 billion to resolve claims through the uncapped settlement.

In court filings late Monday, BP PLC and plaintiffs' lawyers say the deal should not be derailed by a low number of individuals and businesses objecting or asking to opt-out.

Roughly 200 people and groups have formally objected to the deal, while 983 potential claimants asked to opt out as of Oct. 19.

More than 100,000 plaintiffs could benefit from the deal.

BP cited the numbers as evidence that U.S. District Judge Carl Barbier should approve the agreement after a Nov. 8 "fairness hearing." The judge preliminarily approved the proposed settlement in May.

"Critically, none of the objectors makes any attempt to rebut the generosity of the settlement," BP attorneys wrote. "Instead of explaining why the settlement is not fair, many objectors simply argue for even more generous recoveries."

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