Judge urged to let BP settlement payments continue
NEW ORLEANS - A team of plaintiffs' lawyers has urged a federal judge to reject BP's bid to suspend settlement payments to Gulf Coast businesses and residents who claim they lost money after the company's 2010 oil spill.
In a court filing Thursday, attorneys who brokered a multibillion-dollar settlement with BP PLC say the company hasn't provided any evidence that court-supervised claims administrator Patrick Juneau has wrongfully paid any claims.
U.S. District Judge Carl Barbier is scheduled to hear arguments Friday on BP's request to temporarily halt all settlement payments while former FBI Director Louis Freeh investigates alleged misconduct by a lawyer who helped administer the program. The lawyer, Lionel H. Sutton III, allegedly received a portion of settlement proceeds for claims he had referred to a law firm before joining Juneau's staff.
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