It has been a year and a half since plaintiffs and big-oil attorneys came to the U.S. Courthouse in Boise to argue where to hold a landmark trial that will decide blame and injuries in the 2010 Deepwater Horizon explosion, which killed 11 and spilled millions of gallons of oil into the Gulf of Mexico (BW, News, "First, Get All the Lawyers," Aug. 4, 2010).
And now, the trial is set to begin Monday morning. According to the Associated Press, "phalanxes of lawyers, executives and public officials have spent the waning days in settlment talks. Holed up in small groups inside law offices, war rooms and hotel suites in New Orleans and Washington, they're trying to put a number on what BP and its partners in the doomed project should pay to make up for the worst offshore spill in U.S. history."
Financial analysts estimate BP's potential settlement payout at $15 billion to roughly $30 billion.