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8 Mar 2012

Michael Kunzelman, MSNBC [USA]

Court takes over BP oil spill claims [USA]

U.S District Judge Carl Barbier's order calls for a court-appointed administrator to take over from the Gulf Coast Claims Facility led by Kenneth Feinberg...The move is part of a proposed multibillion-dollar settlement between BP and plaintiffs' attorneys representing more than 100,000 individuals and businesses...BP agreed to pay up to $20 billion to compensate commercial fishermen, charter captains, property owners, hotels and others who claim they suffered economic losses after the spill. The GCCF has processed about 221,300 claims and paid out more than $6 billion from the fund...The judge appointed Lynn Greer...Virginia-based attorney, to fill in for Feinberg and serve as transition coordinator. Patrick Juneau, a Lafayette-based attorney, will take over for Greer and serve as the court-appointed administrator for economic loss claims if Barbier gives preliminary approval to the settlement announced...BP said it expects to pay out $7.8 billion in the settlement, but plaintiffs' attorneys say the deal is uncapped.