Take Two®

News and culture through the lens of Southern California. Hosted by A Martínez

Calculating what BP owes for the 2010 Gulf oil spill

by Take Two®

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Kenneth Feinberg, Administrator of the Gulf Coast Claims Facility testifies before the Senate Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs Ad Hoc Committee on Disaster Recovery at hearing subtitled 'An Examination of Claims and Social Services in the Aftermath of the Deepwater Horizon Oil Spill' on January 27, 2011on Capitol Hill in Washington, DC. TIM SLOAN/AFP/Getty Images

Nearly three years ago an explosion on the Deepwater Horizon oil rig killed 11 workers and dumped 4.9 million barrels of oil into the Gulf of Mexico. BP is one of the companies being held responsible, and on Monday they head to court as a defendant in what could be one of the biggest civil trials ever.

At question is whether the company was "grossly negligent." If it is, BP could face billions in fines and claims by plaintiffs.

And when we say "billions," Louisiana alone could be seeking $10 billion for the damage done to its natural resources. But how does that state, or any one affected by the spill, assign a price tag to what they've lost? 

Ken Feinberg is the man who's had to calculate these hard numbers.

He's the former administrator of the BP Oil Spill Fund and the author of "Who Gets What: Fair Compensation after Tragedy and Financial Upheaval."

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