By MARGARET CRONIN FISK
BP, seeking to avoid paying what it says would be billions of
dollars in unjustified claims, will ask the US Supreme Court
to review a court order on a settlement tied to its 2010 Gulf
of Mexico oil spill.
No company would agree to pay for losses that it did
not cause, and BP certainly did not when it entered into this
settlement, the company said in a statement announcing
its intention to appeal an order forcing it to pay what it
calls fictitious claims of spill-related damage.
The company said it would also ask the US Court of Appeals in
New Orleans for a freeze on the disputed payments while an
appeal of the claims process is pending. The court on Tuesday
lifted an earlier halt on payments.
BP settled with most private-party plaintiffs in 2012,
initially estimating the cost of the agreement at $7.8
billion. The company contends a flawed interpretation by the
claims administrator has raised the price to $9.2 billion or
The New Orleans appeals court this week rejected BPs
contention that the claims administrator was paying for
economic losses that werent caused by the spill.
Lawyers for spill victims contend BP is experiencing
buyers remorse, and the settlement
didnt require businesses to prove a direct link to the
spill. Claims payments were based on a formula, primarily
depending on distance from the spill, using sample periods
before and after the event.
Businesses in the areas covered by the settlement were
assumed to have suffered because of the spills regional
economic effects, according to court filings.