Businesses won't have to return BP spill payouts
NEW ORLEANS - BP wanted its money back - hundreds of millions of dollars of it - but a federal judge says the oil giant must stick by an agreement with companies that got payouts after claiming the 2010 Gulf oil spill hurt their business.
BP argued Wednesday that a flawed funding formula in the settlement is giving money to businesses for questionable claims, and they should be forced to return it.
But U.S. District Judge Carl Barbier says a deal is a deal. Barbier had ordered the formula changed several weeks ago
Barbier ruled the payments agreed to by BP included a provision that they would not be changed by later court action.
His ruling thwarts BP's latest attempt to control its soaring liability from the spill, which may be nearing $50 billion.