Professor David Logan talks about BP's agreement to pay $18.7 billion to settle federal, state and local government claims related to the 2010 Gulf of Mexico oil spill.

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Logan on BP Settlement

Professor David Logan talks about BP's agreement to pay $18.7 billion to settle federal, state and local government claims related to the 2010 Gulf of Mexico oil spill.

From the New Orleans Times-Picayune: BP settlement ‘predictable’ end to historic legal battle, experts say” by Jennifer Larino, the Times-Picayune.

BP spillNEW ORLEANS, July 02, 2015: BP has agreed to pay $18.7 billion to settle federal, state and local government claims related to the 2010 Gulf of Mexico oil spill. The deal – the largest environmental settlement in U.S. history – closes the book on years of ongoing litigation and opens a pathway for billions of dollars to flow into coastal restoration and other projects in Louisiana and along the Gulf Coast.

David A. Logan, a law professor at Roger Williams University in Rhode Island who has followed the BP litigation closely, described the agreement announced Thursday (July 2) as “a bit like kissing your sister.”

Professor David Logan“It’s not good or bad. It’s not everything you want, but it’s still a kiss,” Logan said.

He said both sides weighed the cost of years of prolonged litigation, crunched the numbers and gave up ground in order to avoid risk.

“When the numbers are this big, a decision in favor of taking the aggressive litigation posture can cost you billions of dollars,” Logan said. “Even for big companies and state and local governments, that’s just a lot of money to put at risk.”

[…]

The settlement brings to a close a major chunk of BP oil spill litigation, though the company still faces lawsuits from individuals and businesses harmed by the spill. That includes BP gas station owners, oil and gas companies, casinos and others excluded from BP’s 2012 settlement with individuals and businesses.

Logan said federal, state and local governments are no longer waiting in line.

“From the point of view of the plaintiffs, this is a lot of money,” Logan said. “From both perspectives there were a lot of incentives to settle.”

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