Make us your home page
Instagram

Thousands opt out of proposed BP oil spill settlement

NEW ORLEANS — The architects of a proposed class-action settlement of claims spawned by the BP oil spill in the Gulf of Mexico in 2010 are confident it won't be derailed by thousands of businesses and individuals opting out of the deal.

Thursday was the deadline for claimants to postmark written requests to opt out of the multibillion-dollar pact between BP PLC and a team of plaintiffs' attorneys.

Patrick Juneau, administrator of the court-supervised claims process, said roughly 2,300 potential plaintiffs had asked to opt out as of Wednesday. But Juneau said a final number won't be known until early next week. And, he added, some of the opt-out requests are coming from people who aren't eligible to participate in the settlement.

BP has the right to terminate the settlement agreement if an undisclosed number of claimants opt out of the deal.

Steve Herman, one of the lead plaintiffs' attorneys, said in an email that he sees "very little chance" that the deal will fall apart based on the opt outs.

BP estimates it will pay $7.8 billion to resolve claims through the uncapped settlement of economic damage and medical claims from the 2010 disaster.

BP spokesman Scott Dean said the company believes the agreement is "an historic resolution that is fair and reasonable, and amply meets all the legal requirements for final approval" by U.S. District Judge Carl Barbier. The judge will decide whether to give it his final approval following a "fairness hearing" on Nov. 8.

Roughly 75,000 new claims have been filed since the court-supervised claims process took over for the Gulf Coast Claims Facility. Juneau said his team has made offers to nearly 11,500 eligible claimants worth a total of more than $861 million. About 97 percent of the claimants who responded to those offers have accepted them, he added.

"I've never heard of one being this high," Juneau said of that acceptance rate.

Some attorneys have a dimmer view of the deal, however.

Brent Coon, a Houston-based lawyer, said roughly 5,000 of his 14,000 clients with spill-related claims will ask to opt out of the settlement. Coon said most of them haven't received offers from Juneau's team and don't know how much money, if any, they stand to receive.

Thousands opt out of proposed BP oil spill settlement 11/01/12 [Last modified: Thursday, November 1, 2012 8:18pm]
Photo reprints | Article reprints

© 2017 Tampa Bay Times

    

Join the discussion: Click to view comments, add yours

Loading...
  1. Shares in Tampa's Health Insurance Innovations rebound from stronger earnings report

    Corporate

    TAMPA — After a sharp drop in its stock price in August and September, Health Insurance Innovations on Monday announced strong revenue and net income gains in preliminary numbers for its third quarter of the year. The company also announced a $50 million stock buyback over the next two years meant to bolster its …

    After losing more than half its market value between August and September, shares in Tampa's Health Insurance Innovations are rebounding."The new share repurchase program underscores our confidence in our business strategy, financial performance, and the long-term prospects of our company while also allowing us the financial flexibility to continue to invest in our business," company CEO Gavin Southwell announced Monday. [Courtesy of LinkedIn]
  2. Trigaux: Campaign aims to leverage tourism ads to recruit millennials, businesses

    Economic Development

    TAMPA — Tampa Bay's unleashing one of its best weapons — a cadre of successful entrepreneurs and young business leaders — in a marketing campaign already under way but officially …

    Erin Meagher, founder of Tampa coconut oil products company Beneficial Blends, is part of a group of business savvy millennial entrepreneurs and managers who are helping to pitch the work-live-play merits of the Tampa Bay market in a new marketing campaign called Make It Tampa Bay. The campaign is backed by Visit Tampa Bay and the Tampa Hillsborough Economic Development Corp. and aimed at recruiting more millennial talent to relocate and stay in the Tampa Bay area. [Courtesy Tampa Hillsborough EDC, Visit Tampa Bay]
  3. Florida gas prices drop 25 cents on average over past month

    Autos

    Gas prices are on a downward tear post-hurricane. Tampa Bay fell to $2.34 per gallon on Sunday, down 10 cents over the week, according to AAA, The Auto Club Group. Across the state, gas fell 7 cents over the same period to average $2.47 per gallon.

    Gas prices across the state fell 25 cents over 31 days. | [Times file photo]
  4. Entrepreneur expands interests with Twisted Crafts

    Business

    SOUTH TAMPA — Playgrounds of Tampa owner Mike Addabbo is expanding into the do-it-yourself industry with his new endeavor: Twisted Crafts.

     Jennifer and Michael Addabbo pose in their latest entrepreneurial enterprise: Twisted Crafts. Photo courtesy of Twisted Craft.
  5. Amazing Lash franchise expands to South Tampa

    Business

    SOUTH TAMPA — Jeff Tolrud opened the doors to his third Amazing Lash Studio franchise earlier this month, this time in South Tampa.

    When customers walk in, the studios have the same look and feel throughout the country, operator Jeff Tolrud said of Amazing Lash Studio. Tolrud opened his third in Hillsborough County earlier this month. Photo courtesy of Amazing Lash.