Florida looks to delay BP settlement approval

More time: Florida’s Attorney General is seeing to delay the approval of a $7.8 billion settlement related to the 2010 Macondo oil spill to give interested parties more time to review the deal

The Attorney General for the State of Florida has asked a federal court to delay granting preliminary approval of BP's $7.8 billion settlement with businesses and individuals suing over the massive 2010 Gulf of Mexico oil spill.

Attorney General Pamela Bondi, representing her constituents, said in a filing in Louisiana federal court on Friday that there was not enough information available about the settlement terms, Reuters reported.

She asked that the court "delay any immediate decision on the preliminary approval" of the settlement and to establish a schedule to allow interested parties an opportunity to review the settlement.

The settlement requires approval from US District Judge Carl Barbier.

BP reached the agreement in early March with the Plaintiffs' Steering Committee (PSC), which represents condominium owners, fishermen, hoteliers, restaurateurs and others who say their livelihoods were damaged by the 2010 oil spill. The settlement came just before a three-part trial was scheduled to begin in New Orleans.

Lawyers for the PSC did not immediately respond to requests for comment; BP also did not immediately respond when contacted by Reuters.

The proposed settlement would resolve only one part of BP's legal fight stemming from the disaster. It continues to face charges brought by the US government, as well as lawsuits from five US states whose coastlines were oiled, and its partners in the ill-fated Macondo well.

A delay in the preliminary approval could slow down those other parts of the litigation, as well as result in further delays in payments for those who businesses suffered due to the oil spill. In an order issued when the settlement was announced, Judge Barbier said it "would likely result in a realignment of the parties in this litigation and requires substantial changes" to the trial plan.

The Macondo well suffered a blow-out on 20 April 2010 while being temporarily suspended as a future producer in the Mississippi Canyon area of the US Gulf.

The subsequent explosion and fire onboard the Transocean semi-submersible Deepwater Horizon claimed the lives of 11 workers and sparked one of the worst oil spills in US history.

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