A Look at the More Than 240 Lawsuits Against BP in U.S.

BP Plc faces at least 243 U.S. lawsuits so far arising from its role in the Gulf of Mexico oil spill, in what is considered by some the biggest environmental disaster in U.S. history.

The vast majority of the lawsuits have been filed on behalf of businesses, including commercial fishermen, charter boat captains, shippers, resort operators and others harmed by the spill, according to the Westlaw database. Westlaw is a unit of Thomson Reuters.

A handful of lawsuits also have been filed on behalf of BP shareholders, who through June 23 have seen BP’s American depositary receipts lose 51 percent of their value since the April 20 drilling rig explosion, which killed 11. BP also faces wrongful death lawsuits by families of the killed workers.

With relief wells to cap the leaking oil unlikely to be ready before August, both the number of lawsuits filed and the potential scope of damages are expected to rise.

Analysts at Credit Suisse said this month that BP’s cleanup and legal costs could reach $37 billion.

The U.S. Judicial Panel on Multidistrict Litigation is expected to meet July 29 in Boise, Idaho to consider how best to combine many of the existing lawsuits, including more than 180 on the panel’s docket so far.

Here are some basic details about the lawsuits:

(Reporting by Jonathan Stempel; Editing by Tim Dobbyn)