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BP asks US Supreme Court to hear settlement appeal

Published on NewsOK Modified: August 3, 2014 at 4:06 pm •  Published: August 3, 2014
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NEW ORLEANS (AP) — BP PLC has asked the U.S. Supreme Court to throw out part of its settlement of claims for damage from its enormous oil spill in 2010 — a section saying businesses don't have to prove that the spill directly harmed them to be eligible for payment, only that they lost money afterward and recovered in 2011.

Claims administrator Patrick Juneau has awarded hundreds of millions of dollars to businesses whose losses "were not fairly traceable to the spill" in the Gulf of Mexico, including $76 million to businesses whose entire losses had absolutely nothing to do with it, the company's lawyers wrote in a request filed late Friday.

Those included $3.5 million to an Alabama excavation company that had sold nearly all of its assets in 2009 and $172,000 to a lawyer whose license was revoked in 2009, they wrote.

The high court hears arguments in 75 to 80 of the 10,000 appeals it gets each year.

BP argued in its formal request for a hearing that it should be one of those few heard by the nation's highest court because the settlement goes against rulings in other federal districts and by the Supreme Court itself.

When it canceled a class action suit against retail giant Wal-Mart Stores Inc. in 2011, the Supreme Court ruled that members of a class had to have suffered the same injury, they wrote. "Claimants whose purported injuries did not result from the spill cannot have suffered the 'same injury' as those who actually did suffer spill-related loss," the appeal said.

Lead class attorneys Steve Herman and Jim Roy said, "BP co-wrote and agreed to every word in the Settlement Agreement," including Juneau's policy. "It is not surprising that the Courts have all told BP to honor its word," they said in an emailed statement.

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