BP: Some Gulf damage payments too high

March 16, 2013 at 4:01 PM

NEW ORLEANS, March 16 (UPI) -- Oil giant BP says the administrator of a fund set up to compensate victims of the massive Gulf of Mexico oil spill has set payments that are too generous.

The oil company said it has set aside $7.8 billion to create a fund to help make whole those whose lives and livelihoods were affected when an explosion on the Deepwater Horizon oil rig unleashed a three-month torrent of oil into the Gulf of Mexico in 2010.

The BBC said lawyers for BP have cited multimillion dollar payouts granted to companies whose losses were "fictitious" or exaggerated.

They pointed to a Louisiana rice mill, about 40 miles inland, which was given $21 million in compensation and an Alabama construction company given $9.7 million despite its headquarters being 200 miles from the coast.

"BP did not agree to pay what is already hundreds of millions of dollars, and potentially billions, to claimants with 'losses' that do not exist in reality," the company said in papers filed in federal court in New Orleans.

CNN said U.S. District Judge Carl Barbier Jr. has set a March hearing on the company's complaint, though he previously sided with the court-appointed administrator's methods for evaluating requests for compensation.

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