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Judge extends deadline for BP oil spill settlement

Associated Press Modified: April 16, 2012 at 6:15 pm •  Published: April 16, 2012

NEW ORLEANS (AP) — A federal judge on Monday extended a deadline for BP and a team of plaintiffs' attorneys to file details of a proposed settlement designed to resolve billions of dollars in economic damage claims spawned by the 2010 oil spill in the Gulf of Mexico.

The company and lawyers representing more than 100,000 individuals and businesses were expected late Monday to present the formal terms of the settlement agreement to U.S. District Judge Carl Barbier in New Orleans and ask him for preliminary approval.

Early Monday evening, Barbier extended the deadline to Wednesday morning. He said the parties needed more time to finish compiling supporting documentation and exhibits.

London-based BP PLC estimates it will pay about $7.8 billion to resolve private party claims, but the proposed settlement doesn't have a cap.

The agreement announced March 2 doesn't resolve separate claims brought by the federal government and Gulf states against BP and its contractors on the Deepwater Horizon drilling rig over environmental damage from the nation's worst offshore oil spill.

BP set up a $20 billion compensation fund after the April 20, 2010, blowout of its Macondo well. The Gulf Coast Claims Facility paid out more than $6 billion from the fund before a court-supervised administrator took over the claims process on March 8.

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