Halliburton opposes BP's proposed settlement of Gulf spill
Halliburton is opposing a $7.8 billion proposed settlement between BP and lawyers suing the London-based company over the 2010 Gulf of Mexico oil spill, Bloomberg reports, citing a court filing. Halliburton "objects to the limited amount of time available to analyze the settlement agreements and files these preliminary objections," says Donald Godwin, a lawyer for the Houston-based company, in court papers. The proposed agreements cover two classes, for economic loss and medical injury. BP in March agreed to resolve most private plaintiffs' claims for economic loss, property damage, and spill- and cleanup-related injuries. Lawyers for BP and the plaintiffs filed the accord April 18 with U.S. District Judge Carl Barbier in New Orleans for preliminary approval. Barbier is considering the request for approval at a hearing today. Halliburton also objects to the agreement because it assigns BP's claims against the company to the plaintiffs lawyers and attempts to make Halliburton "liable in part for settlement payments," Godwin says, adding that the settlement also restricts Halliburton's ability to settle claims. The proposed settlement, reached March 2, days before a scheduled trial on liability for the 2010 spill, doesn't cover federal government claims and those of Gulf Coast states Louisiana and Alabama. Also excluded are claims of financial institutions, casinos, private plaintiffs in parts of Florida and Texas, and residents and businesses claiming harm from the Obama administration's moratorium on deepwater drilling prompted by the spill.
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