NEW ORLEANS (AP) — BP PLC must resume paying claims while it asks the U.S. Supreme Court to review its settlement with businesses over the 2010 Gulf of Mexico oil spill, a federal appeals court panel said Wednesday.
The 2-1 judgment said the 5th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals will not stop payments while BP appeals the court's earlier ruling that businesses, under the settlement, don't have to prove they were directly harmed by the spill to collect money.
BP will ask the Supreme Court to review Wednesday's ruling, company spokesman Geoff Morrell said in an emailed statement.
The four-sentence judgment does not include detailed reasons for an order handed down a day earlier or for the dissent by Judge Edith Brown Clement, who also disagreed in the court's March 3 ruling. In March, she wrote that whatever BP agreed to in its settlement, courts should make sure that payments go only to people who can prove the spill caused their losses.
The claims fund was set up after a BP well off the Louisiana coast blew out in April 2010 and spewed oil into the Gulf for nearly three months.
BP initially estimated that about $7.8 billion would cover all claims. It later said the administrator was misinterpreting the settlement in ways that could add billions of dollars in bogus or inflated claims.