Final BP seafood settlement payments a milestone

Deepwater-Horizon-April-21-2010.-REUTERSBP’s oil spill settlement with private individuals and businesses hit a major milestone this week as the court-appointed claims administrator announced the final round of payments to those most directly affected by the 2010 disaster, fishermen and seafood businesses. The third and last round of payments in the settlement’s $2.3 billion seafood compensation fund totals $520 million, and claims administrator Patrick Juneau said payment letters will go out next week. He says that will provide a major influx of money into the coastal economy for shrimpers, crabbers, oystermen and fin fishermen. Juneau, whom BP once accused of “hijacking” the settlement and barraged with personal attacks for the balance of two years, says this final step is a hard-earned result of BP and plaintiff’s lawyers turning over a new leaf and working together. But a coalition of fishing leaders called GO Fish remains disappointed with the slow pace of claims payments. There was also a hiccup last December when hundreds of fishing claimants were identified as potential fraud cases, a mistake that scared people on Christmas Eve and wasn’t resolved for several months. Read the story here 18:57