BP appealing ruling on gulf oil spill settlement payments

July 6, 2013 at 3:48 PM
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NEW ORLEANS, July 6 (UPI) -- British Petroleum is appealing a judge's decision to allow businesses and individuals not directly affected by the 2010 gulf oil spill to seek cash settlements.

BP contends the terms of class action settlement the company agreed to last year -- putting up billions of dollars to compensate property owners and businesses on the gulf shore in Louisiana, Alabama and Mississippi affected by the Deepwater Horizon explosion and oil spill -- are being applied improperly by a lawyer assigned by the trial judge to oversee payments.

The end result, BP says, is third-party individuals and businesses not directly affected by the spill are seeking and receiving cash payments.

In a statement, BP spokesman Geoff Morrell said court-appointed lawyer Patrick Juneau's interpretation of the deal has "ignited a feeding frenzy among trial lawyers attempting to secure money for themselves and their clients that neither deserves."

U.S. District Judge Carl Barbier ruled in April in favor of Juneau's practice of deciding who gets the money. BP has appealed that decision to the 5th Circuit Court of Appeals.

The (New Orleans) Times-Picayune said the case is scheduled to be heard Monday.

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