Halliburton, the company contracted by BP to cement the Macondo oil well in 2010, has agreed to pay $1.1 billion to businesses, individuals and local governments that suffered losses during the BP oil spill.
The settlement involves commercial or subsistence fisherman and hunters whose catches were affected by the spill, local governments as well as businesses and property owners whose land was contaminated. The victims would be able to collect punitive damages through a fund administered by a court-appointed representative. Additionally, the $1 billion agreement would settle claims for a separate class of businesses and individuals who intend to make claims against Hallibuton under BP’s 2012 settlement.
The settlement still has to be approved by a federal judge, the same judge who has ruling pending on the extent of which parties were negligent in the Deepwater Horizon oil spill. If approved, the amount would settle most of the claims against Halliburton, except those filed by state governments.
Additionally, the deal is contingent upon a minimum number of plaintiffs signing on. If the judge decides that gross negligence on the part of the company was a major factor in the accident, the plaintiffs could hold out for a larger award.
If plaintiffs and the judge agree on the settlement, it will likely be paid into a trust in installments over the next two years.
Four years after the spill, Halliburton and BP continue to argue that neither was more or less responsible for the faulty cement job. BP has paid out $28 billion in claims, but they face additional liability as a federal judge in New Orleans decides how to assign blame to Halliburton, BP and Transocean.
The oilfield contamination lawyers at Simien & Simien saw firsthand how the BP oil spill affected the Gulf Coast. We believe that when an oil or gas company acts negligently and damages the environment, they need to be held accountable for their actions.
Is your property damaged from oil drilling that was not remediated? Is your groundwater contaminated? Our team of attorneys can help you determine what your legal rights are and if you may be entitled to file a claim for damages.