The News Courier in Athens, Alabama

July 8, 2013

Appeals court hearing BP challenge on spill claims


Associated Press

— NEW ORLEANS (AP) — A federal appeals court is set to hear BP's bid to challenge what could be billions of dollars in settlement payouts to businesses claiming they lost money after the company's 2010 oil spill in the Gulf of Mexico.

Lawyers for BP and Gulf Coast businesses and residents are scheduled to argue the case Monday before a three-judge panel of the 5th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals. A line formed early outside the court's building.

BP wants the panel to overturn a judge's ruling that upheld a court-appointed claims administrator's interpretation of the settlement

BP claims the administrator has allowed thousands of businesses to secure hundreds of millions of dollars in payments for inflated and fictitious losses.

Plaintiffs' lawyers counter that BP underestimated how many claimants would qualify for payments.