Court Strikes Down BP’s Bid to Limit Payouts From Gulf Spill

GULFPORT, MS - JULY 1: Thick oil is seen washed ashore from the Deepwater Horizon oil spill in the Gulf of Mexico on July 1, 2010 in Gulfport, Mississippi. Millions of gallons of oil have spilled into the Gulf since the April 20 explosion on the drilling platform. 
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Clare Foran
March 4, 2014, 2:03 a.m.

A fed­er­al Ap­peals Court on Monday ruled against BP’s bid to lim­it pay­outs from the 2010 Deep­wa­ter Ho­ri­zon oil spill, leav­ing the com­pany on the hook for mil­lions of dol­lars in set­tle­ment pay­ments.

BP has re­peatedly sought to lim­it fin­an­cial dam­ages from the ac­ci­dent.

Dur­ing the most re­cent leg­al battle, law­yers for the oil-and-gas gi­ant ar­gued that Gulf Coast busi­nesses not dir­ectly im­pacted by the event had been un­fairly al­lowed to claim losses from the com­pany. 

So far, the courts don’t see it that way.

“The court said in a 2 to 1 rul­ing, the claims ad­min­is­trat­or was simply fol­low­ing guidelines BP had agreed to in a set­tle­ment reached with a wide vari­ety of plaintiffs in 2012,” The Wash­ing­ton Post re­ports.

As a res­ult, BP must now re­sume mil­lions of dol­lars in pay­ments to spill vic­tims that had been put on hold while the com­pany awaited a ver­dict in the case.

“They have some op­tions for ap­peal, but it’s a sig­ni­fic­ant loss for BP,” Tom Claps, an ana­lyst with Susque­hanna Fin­an­cial Group who has fol­lowed the case told The Wall Street Journ­al.

A spokes­per­son for the com­pany said BP is weigh­ing next steps and will con­sider an ap­peal.


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