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.

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.

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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