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Thousands opt out of BP settlement

NEW ORLEANS — The ­architects of a proposed class-action settlement of claims spawned by the 2010 BP oil spill in the Gulf of Mexico are confident it won’t be derailed by thousands of businesses and individuals opting out.

Thursday was the deadline for claimants to postmark written requests to opt out of the multibillion-dollar pact between BP PLC and a team of plaintiffs’ attorneys.

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Patrick Juneau, administrator of the court-supervised claims process, said roughly 2,300 potential plaintiffs had asked to opt out as of Wednesday. But Juneau said a final number won’t be known until next week. And some opt-out requests are coming from people who are ineligible, he said.

BP has the right to terminate the settlement agreement if an undisclosed number of claimants opt out.

Steve Herman, one of the lead plaintiffs’ attorneys, said he sees ‘‘very little chance’’ that the deal will fall apart.

BP estimates it will pay $7.8 billion to resolve claims through the deal.

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