BP gives up its resistance to paying Deepwater Horizon damages to seafood industry

BP on Tuesday yielded in its almost two-year-long resistance to paying damages to US Gulf Coast seafood industry stakeholders.

The claims relate to the pollution damage caused by the 2010 Deepwater Horizon oil rig disaster. But BP had been fighting on the basis that many allegedly fraudulent claims were inflating the numbers.

This decision to concede the battle could mean another almost $1bn in payments by the Britain-based oil supermajor.

BP has already paid out $55bn in liabilities over the disaster, including $18.7bn in settlements with government bodies.

The Deepwater Horizon tragedy occurred on 20 April 2010 when the rig at the Macondo well exploded, claiming 11 workers’ lives.

It was then followed by a seemingly interminable 87-day period in which oil gushed from the uncapped well before it was staunched, wreaking widespread environmental damage.

BP had paid up the first portion of a $2.3bn award to seafood industry claimants when it decided to dig in over the remainder because of apparent irregularities, inflated numbers and bogus victim names.

Shrimpers, fishermen, oystermen and seafood processors are among the groups whose livelihoods were detrimentally affected by the spill.

While agreeing to now pay up, BP says it will continue to pursue its own civil fraud claim against a Texas lawyer who has been indicted for lying and fraud in spill claims against BP.

Donal Scully

With 28 years experience writing and editing for newspapers in the UK and Hong Kong, Donal is now based in California from where he covers the Americas for Splash as well as ensuring the site is loaded through the Western Hemisphere timezone.
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