BP Wins in Court

by Greg Pollowitz

Fraud in the billions paid out to spill victims? And note, BP has been complaining about this for years.

Bloomberg reports:

BP Plc (BP/) persuaded an appeals court to order a re-examination of key terms of the 2010 Gulf of Mexico oil-spill settlement that the company said could have cost it billions of dollars in improper payouts.

BP said the program’s administrator, Patrick Juneau, was approving millions of dollars in “fictitious” payments to businesses for economic losses based on what BP called a flawed interpretation of the agreement reached with spill victims’ lawyers in 2012.

The U.S. Court of Appeals in New Orleans yesterday sent the dispute back to the trial judge for further consideration. The appellate panel also ordered U.S. District Judge Carl Barbier to review his interpretation of some of the accord’s terms. The appellate panel ordered Barbier to stop some payments under the settlement until he can sort out who has legitimate claims.

“This decision throws a huge monkey wrench into the settlement and it could well save BP hundreds of millions in settlement payments,” Carl Tobias, a law professor at theUniversity of Richmond who studies and teaches about the federal judiciary, said in a phone interview. “It’s going to create a real mess.”

BP rose as much as 2 percent in London trading, the biggest intraday gain in almost three months, and closed up 1.1 percent at 437.15 pence.

The rest here.

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