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US court grants suspension to BP’s Deepwater Horizon payouts



BP has succeeded in persuading US courts to grant it an injunction for the suspension of payments made to some claimants of the Deepwater Horizon spill.

The oil giant has been in a compensation battle for a number of months, arguing that the court settlement has allowed for misinterpretation in the terms of that settlement, which has meant businesses that weren’t affected by the disaster could submit claims.

Three judges sitting in a Fifth Circuit appeals court ordered an injunction to be drawn up that, they said, is “tailored so that those who experienced actual injury traceable to loss from the Deepwater Horizon accident continue to receive recovery, but those who did not do not receive their payments until this case is fully heard and decided”.

BP has strenuously fought against what it calls fraudulent claims, saying that it had paid out $546m (£333m) in claims that would seem irrational to any reasonable observer”.

The company has been accused of fraud itself by residents within the Gulf of Mexico region, who hijacked a fraud line set up by the company for residents to report fraudulent claims. They said that by trying to get out of paying some claims, BP was acting fraudulently.

The new ruling comes as a victory for BP after the oil giant was recently criticised by a judge in its “startling” attempts to block compensation payouts. The same week, BP launched a media campaign, saying that it has “set out to do the right thing”.

Further reading:

Judge criticises BP’s attempts to block compensation payouts

BP Gulf compensation fraud hotline hijacked to accuse oil giant of misbehaviour

BP wins appeal over Deepwater Horizon compensation payouts

Former Deepwater Horizon manager pleads guilty to destroying evidence

BP announces $3.7bn profits for third quarter of 2013