The Wall Street Journal (10/11, Gilbert, Subscription Publication, 2.08M) reports that sources familiar with negotiations between the Justice Department and BP say the two sides are nearing a settlement to resolve both criminal and civil penalties stemming from the 2010 Deepwater Horizon spill. After months of negotiations, talks have intensified over the past two weeks, the sources said, leading the two sides to be near an agreement. It’s estimated that BP will be liable for anywhere from $5.4 to $21 billion in civil penalties for Clean Water Act violations depending on whether gross negligence is found. The Justice Department has also been considering whether fines should be levied through part of the Oil Pollution Act. Last month the two sides were said to be $6 billion apart on a final total for the settlement. Reuters (10/11, Prasad) notes the Wall Street Journal’s coverage.
District court judge denies request for Deepwater claims extension. The Houston Chronicle (10/11, Pickrell, 443K) reports that US District Judge Carl Barbier in New Orleans “refused to extend a Nov. 1 deadline for plaintiffs to opt out of a proposed settlement of economic claims against BP over the 2010 Gulf of Mexico oil spill.” Some potential “claimants argued that they didn’t have enough information to decide whether to opt out, since many have not received settlement offers from the court-supervised Deepwater Horizon Claims Center.” However, Barbier said such an extension is now “premature and unnecessary.” Hearings are set to start Nov. 8 “to assess the fairness of the proposed settlement.
From the American Association for Justice News Brief for October 11, 2012 and the desk of John Badal, President of the law firm of Liever, Hyman & Potter, Reading , Berks County , PA serving personal injury victims in Berks and Schuylkill Counties for more than 50 years.