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Judge may grant approval to $7.8 billion BP settlement

Despite Florida attorney general’s protests, court may approve deal within the next few days

In March, BP announced its $7.8 billion settlement with victims of the Deepwater Horizon oil spill in the Gulf of Mexico, but it has yet to be approved. The Florida attorney general asked the court on April 13 to delay preliminary approval so that “this office and other interested stakeholders have a meaningful opportunity to review and comment on its terms.”

The judge in this case has plans of his own, however. U.S. District Judge Carl Barbier said on Wednesday that he is considering issuing a written order for preliminary approval sometime in the next few days. “Frankly, I’m leaning in favor,” he said at a hearing in New Orleans. Even so, we shouldn’t expect to see final approval of the deal until November at the earliest, Thomson Reuters reports.

Once the deal is approved, it still won’t be the end of BP’s payments related to the Deepwater spill. The company still has the government to contend with, and faces up to $25 billion in charges from the Department of Justice.

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