On Aug. 4, 2010, a Boise U.S. District courtroom was packed with big-oil attorneys and plaintiffs to argue when and how a landmark trial should decide blame and injuries in the wake of the Deepwater Horizon explosion, which killed 11 and spilled millions of gallons of oil into the Gulf of Mexico (BW, News, "First, Get All the Layers," Aug. 4, 2010).
Late Friday, British Petroleum reached a $7.8 billion settlement with thousands of people affected by the spill. The deal is expected to benefit more than 10,000 residents, firshermen and clean-up workers who suffered damage to their health or livelihoods.
Additionally, the agreement includes provisions to cover medical services related to the spill for the next 21 years.
BP is still expected to pay tens of billions on top of the settlement in fines to federal, state and local governments.