By: Knox Graham
JACKSON, Miss.-- BP has agreed to plead guilty to 11 felony counts of neglect or misconduct in regards to the 11 lives that were lost resulting from the 2010 the Deepwater Horizon oil spill.
On top of the felony counts BP has also agreed to pay the U.S. government $4.5 billion over five years with installments according to a press release from their officials.
This by far and away passes any corporate criminal settlement case in the U.S. thus far. The closest was from prescription drug manufacturer Pfizer in 2009 that totaled $1.2 billion.
BP executives have said this is in their best interests.
"We believe this resolution is in the best interest of BP and its shareholders," said Carl-Henric Svanberg, BP's chairman said in the statement. "It removes two significant legal risks and allows us to vigorously defend the company against the remaining civil claims."
And those civil claims are what many Gulf residents are looking towards with today's decision.
In a statement earlier Thursday from BP the company claims the potential settlement does not include civil claims under the Clear Water Act and legislation, pending private civil claims or state claims for economic loss.
Thousands of Mississippians and other Gulf residents were affected by the Deepwater Horizon oil spill, obviously.
Many lost jobs that worked in the fishing or shrimping industry and you might remember boat captains doing interviews with boats harbored at the dock unable to do their jobs.
The GoCoast 2020 Commission that is set to allocate funds from the RESTORE Act has been reached out to for comment and at the time of this publishing has yet to make a statement or speak with News Mississippi.