Judge hears details of Gulf oil spill settlement

NEW ORLEANS (AP) -- A federal judge says he is "leaning in favor of" granting preliminary approval to a proposed class-action settlement that would resolve billions of dollars in claims against BP over the 2010 oil spill in the Gulf of Mexico.

U.S. District Judge Carl Barbier said during a hearing Wednesday in New Orleans that he plans to rule within a week whether to grant preliminary approval of a deal. Barbier added he would hold a "fairness hearing" later this year before deciding whether to give final approval.

The proposed deal between BP and plaintiffs' attorneys is designed to resolve more than 100,000 claims by people and businesses who blame economic losses on the spill.

BP estimates it would pay about $7.8 billion to resolve these claims, but the settlement isn't capped.


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