TIME LINE | BP’S LAWSUITS

US Justice Department: $21bn
The US government announced on Wednesday that it will sue nine firms involved in the blast for breaching environmental laws, in order to recoup costs and damages.

Compensation fund: $2.3bn
BP’s compensation fund has made $2bn in emergency payments to 125,000 claimants, said fund administrator Kenneth Feinberg at the end of November. The final amount is likely to reach $2.3bn and compensate 175,000 individuals and businesses, though around 400,000 claims have been filed.

Class actions in the Gulf: $billions
Hundreds of people and businesses who have lost out due to the oil spill have filed class action lawsuits in the US.

Class action in Texas: $10bn
Lawyer Tony Buzbee has filed a lawsuit on behalf of 2,000 people who claim their health has been jeopardised by the chemical leak at BP’s Texan oil refinery, separate from the Gulf of Mexico spill.

Future cases: $unknown
The Justice Department said on Wednesday its criminal and civil investigations are ongoing, while analysts expect more lawsuits to emerge.