By MARGARET CRONIN FISK and LAUREL BRUBAKER CALKINS
BP must pay hundreds of millions of dollars in damage claims
while it seeks US Supreme Court review of disputed payments
in its $9.2 billion accord over the 2010 Gulf of Mexico oil
spill, a court ruled.
The US Court of Appeals in New Orleans rejected the UK-based
energy companys request to maintain a temporary halt on
payments to businesses that cant prove they were
directly damaged by the spill. US District Judge Carl Barbier
ordered the settlements administrator to resume making
the stalled 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 helped raise the price to $9.2 billion
Barbier in December suspended payments to all businesses
harmed by the spill, even those with losses unquestionably
linked to the disaster, while the appeals court weighed
On May 19, the appeals court refused to reconsider its
earlier rejection of BPs complaint that its claims
administrator was misinterpreting the accord and approving
hundreds of millions of dollars in fictitious
We are disappointed and will seek review by the US
Supreme Court of this ruling, Geoff Morrell, a
spokesman for the London-based company, said in an e-mail
about the appeals court denial of a continued halt on
Lawyers for spill victims have accused BP of
buyers remorse and trying to renege on a
settlement that is proving more costly than anticipated.
We are pleased that the court has refused BPs
latest request to further delay claims payments, Steve
Herman and Jim Roy, lead attorneys for the spill victims,
said in an e-mail.