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On Wednesday of this last week, the first hearing to consider preliminary approval of the BP Settlement was held. Afterwards Judge Carl Barbier, the judge who is overseeing litigation against BP, said that he is leaning towards granting the preliminary approval that both BP and the Plaintiffs’ Steering Committee have requested.

Granting preliminary approval is significant for a couple of reasons. First, it allows for claim payments made under the terms of the Settlement to begin. In addition, it is a key step in the process for individuals and businesses who disagree with the terms of the Settlement to present their objections or opt-out of the Settlement.

A ruling on the preliminary approval is expected within the next few weeks. Full consideration of the terms of the BP Settlement and any objections that are presented will, however, take months. Attorneys working on the case have proposed the end of November as a target date for granting final approval on the Settlement.

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