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Nov 8, 2012 9:43 AM by AP

Judge to hold fairness hearing on BP settlement

NEW ORLEANS (AP) - A federal judge in New Orleans is set to preside over a fairness hearing for a proposed class-action settlement of economic damage claims spawned by BP's 2010 oil spill in the Gulf of Mexico.

During Thursday's hearing, the London-based oil giant and a team of private plaintiffs' attorneys will urge U.S. District Judge Carl Barbier to give his final approval to the agreement. The judge also will hear from other plaintiffs' attorneys who object to portions of the deal.

BP estimates it will pay $7.8 billion to resolve claims through the uncapped settlement.

The agreement doesn't resolve claims by the federal government and Gulf states.

A trial next year is designed to identify causes of BP's well blowout and assign percentages of fault to the companies involved in the disaster.

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