BP asks US Supreme Court to freeze Gulf of Mexico oil spill compensation


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The Independent Online

BP has requested the US Supreme Court permission to freeze compensation claims as it waits for another judge in the court to review its litigation over businesses caught up in 2010’s Gulf of Mexico oil disaster.

The oil major is complaining about being forced to pay businesses for damages whether or not they can actually prove the spill caused them losses and has asked US Supreme Court Justice Antonin Scalia for compensation payments to be temporarily blocked.

If not, BP said, “countless awards totalling potentially hundreds of millions of dollars will be irreparably scattered to claimants that suffered no injury traceable to BP’s conduct”.

The company added in its filing to the Supreme Court that of the $2 billion it has paid out in compensation, $76 million went to “entities whose losses had nothing to do with the spill”, and $546 million more to claimants “located far from the spill and … engaged in businesses whose revenues and profits bear no logical connection to the spill”.

BP had originally estimated the entire settlement would cost it $7.8 billion.

It issued its latest legal action after the US Court of Appeals lifted an injunction preventing it from making compensation payments for the Deepwater Horizon blow-out, which killed 11 men and caused the worst offshore oil spill in US history.