What's in a number?
Well, you know that a great deal of relevance is involved anytime that the word "billion" is attached to a number-related story.
And that relevance is underscored in the United States when litigation is a central component of a story featuring numbers, especially when the figures thrown about are in the multiples of billions.
As in $61.6 billion. Unquestionably, that is a lot of money for any company on earth. In fact, and as noted in a recent media story focusing upon the infamous 2010 oil/gas explosion of the BP Deepwater Horizon rig in the Gulf of Mexico, that dollar amount exceeds the value of some renowned business powerhouses, including General Motors.
And it is what BP executives estimate will be the total amount paid out by the company to finally settle all claims against it.
As even a casual reader of BP-related news in recent years duly appreciates, the post-accident claims against BP have been myriad.
In fact, they have numbered in the thousands, with oil explosion-based lawsuits following 11 crew member deaths and the mass destruction resulting from approximately 3.2 million spilled barrels of oil into the Gulf coming from many diverse parties.
The litigation has understandably taken years to wind through various state and federal courts. The aforementioned media article notes that payments have been made to "400 local governments, tens of thousands of claimants and the federal government."
Reportedly, damage assessment and payouts are now finally near an end for BP, although the tragic legacy left in the wake of the massive blowout promises to be long remembered.