Gulf Shrimp Processors Ask Judge To Delay $7.8 Billion BP Settlement

   on April 24 2012 5:48 PM
Workers pressure-wash oil from the Deepwater Horizon spill from a roadway in Waveland, Mississippi
Workers pressure-wash oil from the Deepwater Horizon spill from a roadway in Waveland, Mississippi July 7, 2010. REUTERS

Gulf Coast shrimp processors are asking a federal judge to delay final approval of the $7.8 billion settlement between BP and third-party claimants over the 2010 Gulf oil spill. 

BP confirmed earlier in April it had negotiated the settlement. The American Shrimp Processors Association said Tuesday the $2.3 billion portion of that money earmarked for compensating losses to the seafood industry favors shrimp harvesters and ship captains, while excluding docks, processors and distributors.

I simply can't comprehend how after two years they don't understand the difference between a seafood dock or processing business and a shoe store, said association Executive Director David Veal. Our future risk is no different than those inside the Seafood Program, he said, referring to the program paying compensation to the seafood industry in the wake of the biggest U.S. environmental disaster.

The association asked U.S. District Judge Carl Barbier in New Orleans to delay the Seafood Compensation Program, and make sure it includes every part of the seafood supply chain from harvesters to packagers and distributors.

Barbier on Wednesday will be considering whether or not to approve the settlement agreement, reported Reuters. BP has asked that he delay trial proceedings until every settlement procedure is approved.

BP and its co-defendants have yet to go to trial for the spill. A trial will determine the company's liability for its role in the leaking of roughly 5 million barrels of oil into the Gulf of Mexico.

Billions more are on the line; BP could pay as much as $4,300 per barrel of oil leaked.

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