NEW ORLEANS (AP) – Businesses and individuals who claim BP’s oil spill in the Gulf of Mexico cost them money have been paid more than $1 billion through the company’s class-action settlement with private plaintiffs’ attorneys.

Court-supervised claims administrator Patrick Juneau says payments hit the $1 billion mark before the end of 2012. He also said 95 percent of claimants who were offered payments decided to accept them.

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Juneau touted the acceptance rate as evidence the settlement and claims process are fair.

The court-supervised claims process was established in June 2012. It replaced the Gulf Coast Claims Facility led by Kenneth Feinberg.

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BP estimates it will pay $7.8 billion to resolve more than 100,000 claims through the settlement, which received final approval from U.S. District Judge Carl Barbier in December.

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