Gulf Oil Spill Settlement

March 3, 2012 - 3:15 AM
FILE - In this April 21, 2010 file photo provided by the U.S. Coast Guard, fire boat response crews spray water on the blazing remnants of BP's Deepwater Horizon offshore oil rig. BP agreed late Friday March 2, 2012 to settle lawsuits brought by more than 100,000 fishermen who lost work, cleanup workers who got sick and others who claimed harm from the oil giant's 2010 Gulf of Mexico disaster, the worst offshore oil spill in the nation's history. The momentous settlement will have no cap to compensate the plaintiffs, though BP PLC estimated it would have to pay out about $7.8 billion, making it one of the largest class-action settlements ever. After the Exxon Valdez disaster in 1989, the company ultimately settled with the U.S. government for $1 billion, which would be about $1.8 billion today. (AP Photo/US Coast Guard, File)