[New Orleans] – The Plaintiffs’ Steering Committee (PSC) spearheading the litigation emanating from the 2010 Deepwater Horizon Oil Spill today announced that it has reached an approximately $1.1 billion settlement with Halliburton Energy Services, Inc. (HESI) stemming from its role in the incident.
The settlement, which will be overseen by Judge Carl A. Barbier of the Eastern District of Louisiana, includes two classes of eligible claimants. The first class is comprised of individuals and businesses that are class members in the existing BP Deepwater Horizon Economic and Property Damages Settlement.
As part of the PSC’s settlement with BP, these class members were assigned certain of BP’s claims and causes of action against HESI. The settlement with HESI resolves these “assigned” claims and provides additional benefits to members of the BP Economic and Property Damages Settlement Class.
The second class is a new HESI Punitive Damages Settlement Class that includes any individual, business (including fishermen and charter boat operators), property owner, or governmental entity (excluding both state and federal government) that is deemed to have Robins Dry Dock standing under General Maritime Law. For the purposes of this settlement, this applies to commercial fishermen and charter boat operators that were in business at any time between April 20, 2009 and April 18, 2012; property owners, businesses and local governments that had oil touch their real estate or personal property any time between April 20, 2010 and April 18, 2012; and individuals that fished or hunted in specified areas and depended on their catch for subsistence, barter or trade.
A claimant does not have to be a member of the BP Economic and Property Damages Settlement Class to receive benefits if they qualify as a Punitive Damages Settlement Class member. In addition, class eligibility is not mutually exclusive; certain claimants may be members of both the BP Economic and Property Damages Class and the new HESI Punitive Damages Class.
“Halliburton stepped up to the plate and agreed to provide a fair measure of compensation to people and businesses harmed in the wake of the Deepwater Horizon tragedy,” said Co-lead plaintiffs’ attorneys, Stephen J. Herman and James P. Roy.
Through the payment of this approximately $1.1 billion settlement, Halliburton has effectively resolved its liability to private plaintiffs and local governments for most of its exposure under both the OPA and General Maritime Law. Both Transocean and BP continue to have significant liabilities to private plaintiffs and state/local governmental entities.
As part of the settlement process, the Court will appoint an “Allocation Special Master” who will determine what portion of the aggregate amount will be distributed to each of the two classes. Further, the Court will also appoint a claims administrator to develop a Distribution Model to determine how the funds will be distributed to individual class members.