The News Courier in Athens, Alabama

State and Nation

June 26, 2013

BP mounts offensive in spill settlement dispute

(Continued)

In April, U.S. District Judge Carl Barbier upheld a court-appointed claims administrator's interpretation of the multi-billion dollar settlement it reached with a group of plaintiffs' attorneys.

The London-based oil giant appealed the decision. A three-judge panel from the 5th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals is scheduled to hear the case July 8.

"The Court has rejected BP's argument multiple times," Roy said in a statement. "Simply put, BP has buyers' remorse because it guessed wrong on the cost of a deal, which it — for nearly two years — negotiated, co-authored, agreed to and sought Court approval of. The notion that BP is somehow trying to portray itself as a victim is preposterous."

BP's ad claims Barbier's ruling "interprets the settlement in a way no one intended" and results in settlement payouts to businesses that didn't suffer any spill-related losses.

"Even though we're appealing the misinterpretation of the agreement, we want you to know that the litigation over this issue has not in any way changed our commitment to the Gulf," it says.

BP spokesman Geoff Morrell said the newspaper ad is consistent with the company's efforts to keep the public informed of its economic and environmental restoration efforts.

"It explains the actions we are taking to defend the contract we agreed to and to assure the integrity of the claims process," he said in a statement. "But it is also intended to make clear that BP remains as committed today as it was three years ago to doing the right thing. While we are actively litigating the payments by the claims program for inflated and even fictitious losses, we remain fully committed to paying legitimate claims due to the accident."

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