BP wants Supreme Court to throw out Deepwater Horizon settlement

McClatchy Washington BureauMay 21, 2014 


Fires burn around the site of the BP Deepwater Horizon rig site in the Gulf of Mexico, June 19, 2010.

CAROLYN COLE — Los Angeles Times/MCT

— BP is asking the U.S. Supreme Court to hear its challenge of the settlement agreement that’s forcing the oil company to reimburse businesses deemed hurt by the massive 2010 Deepwater Horizon spill in the Gulf of Mexico .

BP said Monday that it wants the Supreme Court to review its claim that the settlement process is rife with fraud. The company argues that it’s been ordered to pay “hundreds of millions of dollars – soon likely to be billions – of fictitious and inflated losses.”

BP so far has been on the losing end in court, and a federal appeals court yesterday refused to reconsider its earlier ruling in support of the settlement.

BP signed the settlement agreement two years ago but it’s turning out far more costly than the company expected. BP has responded with a legal and public relations offensive against the settlement, claiming that businesses are getting money without being hurt by the spill.

The courts have ruled, though, that the settlement agreement never required businesses to offer proof that their losses were directly caused by the oil spill . Instead, according to legal analysts who have tracked the case, the payments are based on a formula that takes into account the business’ distance from the spill and compares its revenuesin certain months before and after the spill.

BP argues that the settlement is being misinterpreted.

“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 oil company said Monday.

Email: scockerham@mcclatchydc.com; Twitter: @seancockerham.

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