Federal Judge Carl Barbier of the United States District Court for the Eastern District of Louisiana today issued the final approval order for the settlement of nearly all BP claims associated with the loss of business as a result of the April 2010 Deepwater Horizon oil spill. This historic settlement will compensate individuals and businesses impacted by the spill and brings closure to the people of the Gulf states.

Unlike any previous class action settlement, this compromise does the most good, for the most people, in the shortest amount of time. The parties – from BP, to plaintiffs’ counsel, to Judge Barbier – should be commended for engineering this unique settlement program, one that should be a model for other mass torts in the future. While both sides could have dragged this litigation out for years – even decades (see Exxon Valdez) – cooler heads prevailed, and the people and businesses of the Gulf are the beneficiaries of a justice system that worked as it should.