As we reported previously, the Economic Class Settlement contained a guaranteed $2.3 billion for Gulf Coast commercial fishermen and deckhands. While some critiqued the capped nature of the seafood program, we believed that the $2.3 billion would be enough to compensate those impacted by the oil spill – and that there might be a second distribution of funds to seafood claimants. Now, with very few claims remaining to be paid and nearly $1.1 billion remaining in the seafood fund, it seems that a second distribution will indeed take place.
The Court is currently working with Daniel Balhoff, the court-appointed neutral presiding over the seafood settlement, to propose a fair distribution of the fund’s remaining balance. Mr. Balhoff has submitted his recommendations to the Court, and all objections to Mr. Balhoff’s recommendations were to have been filed by Oct. 20, 2014. Once the mechanism for payments is determined, lawyers in our Toxic Torts Section will provide an update. Just judging by the payments made, and the fact participants should receive more, this settlement has proven to be a very fair and efficient process for commercial fishermen.
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