BP announces proposed settlement of $7.8-billion

BP Settlement

CALCASIEU PARISH, LA (KPLC) - The number BP finally agreed on is $7.8-billion to help resolve economic loss and medical claims stemming from both the rig accident and the oil spill.

The only Southwest Louisiana committee member on the Plaintiff's Steering Committee for the BP oil spill, Matt Lundy said the $7.8-billion is not a capped settlement. That number, he believes, was just a way for BP to protect its stock prices.

If economic loss and medical claims exceed greater than $7.8-billion, Lundy said it's basically an open check book.

There will also be a healthcare outreach program to assist those with medical needs caused by the oil spill accident. Lundy said it will be available for the coastal regions of Louisiana, Mississippi, Alabama and Florida. The Periodic Medical Consultation Program will also be available for residents in marshland areas affected by the spill.

"The medical program grants will benefit the entire parish whether they were involved in the clean up work or not," Lundy said.

Workers from the spill who may not live along the coast, but within these states are also eligible for the medical program.

The medical program would allow those with medical needs caused by the spill to get tests run and other screenings every three years for up to 21 years.

Lundy said the committee wanted to make sure everyone affected was properly compensated, and when it comes to the claims, they're not "one-size fits all."

"The settlement does not have a cap. Which is a great thing. It's an open check book," he said.

Due to this, Lundy said the committee came up with formulas to determine the amount of money those affected are entitled to, especially for industries directly impacted.

Certain zones also receive the presumption of impact, meaning the closer to the Gulf, the more likely the presumption. And that could be any business, but seafood related businesses get the presumption in all zones.

"Those industries will be presumed to have been damaged by the oil spill. They won't need to come in and prove that their loss was connected to oil spill and so their burden will be less," Lundy said. Plus there will be a multiplier or risk transfer premium, which may be greater than other industries.

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