Appeals court gives BP a win in settlement dispute
NEW ORLEANS - A federal appeals court has given new life to oil giant BP PLC's claims that a judge's interpretation of a settlement after the 2010 Gulf of Mexico oil spill could force the company to pay billions of dollars for bogus or inflated claims by businesses.
The complex ruling Wednesday by a three-judge panel of the 5th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals threw out U.S. District Judge Carl Barbier's (BAHR'-bee-aye's) rulings on the dispute between BP and attorneys who brokered the multibillion-dollar settlement in 2012. The panel sent the case back to Barbier for further proceedings.
BP argued that Barbier and court-appointed claims administrator Patrick Juneau misinterpreted terms of the settlement.
Plaintiffs' lawyers countered that BP undervalued the settlement and underestimated how many claimants would qualify for payments.