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Judge Rejects BP’s Attempts to Halt 2010 Oil Spill Payments

BP has made accusations that the system that deals with processing claims of compensation and paying out the damages to people and businesses affected by the 2010 Gulf of Mexico oil spill is being mistreated and corrupted. Their attempts to suspend all payments whilst an investigator looks into the claims, has been denied by a federal judge.

At the end of June Oilprice.com published an article stating that:

“BP is appealing that some of the claims made by businesses as part of its multi-billion dollar settlement were false, or at least over exaggerated, and has sent out letters to warn those businesses they may have to pay the compensation back if their appeal is successful.

BP states that claims administrator Patrick Juneau rewrote some of the wording of the class-action settlement, which could result in billions of dollars more being paid to claimants, but the steering committee contend that BP was well aware of the details of the deal, and agreed to the rules for calculating compensation.”

Related article: $16 Billion to be Spent on New Drill Rigs in the Gulf of Mexico by 2015

The payments are made as part of a settlement program that BP agreed to last year, but Judge Carl Barbier, who is overseeing the entire civil case against BP and its contractors, said that “BP has not produced any evidence that would warrant the court taking the drastic step of shutting down the entire claims program,” and therefore blocked attempts to halt the payments.

Earlier in the month Barbier named Louis Freeh, a former director of the FBI, as the ‘special master’ tasked with investigating the possible misconduct that BP seems to think is going on as part of the compensation claims program.

Barbier has already ruled against BP’s initial case against the program. Geoff Morrell, a BP spokesman, stated that the company believed the ruling to be wrong, and that the halt on all payment claims was a necessity. BP has taken the case to the US court of appeals who is now considering it.

By. Joao Peixe of Oilprice.com

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