An appeal by BP Plc over the interpretation of
its multi-billion-dollar settlement agreement with the victims of the
2010 oil spill in the Gulf of Mexico was to be heard by a US court
The British oil giant has said the court-appointed claims administrator is interpreting the agreement too leniently, and approving payouts to companies that do not appear to have lost money from the accident.
The "misinterpretation" has "ignited a feeding frenzy among trial lawyers attempting to secure money for themselves and their clients that neither deserves," said Geoff Morrell, head of communications for BP in the United States, in a statement to the press.
The claim of misinterpretation was dismissed by a judge in April. The current appeal is against that ruling.
The company was expected to argue for a freeze on payouts to companies in Monday's hearing before a three-judge US circuit appeals court in New Orleans.
It has cited the case of a 21-million-dollar payout to a rice mill located inland from the affected shoreline, which apparently made more money in 2010 than in any of the previous three years.
The appeal does not affect compensation claims by individuals.
Eleven people were killed when the Deepwater Horizon oil rig exploded on April 20, 2010 in the Gulf of Mexico.
More than 4 million barrels of oil were spilled, smearing beaches from Florida to Texas, killing countless birds and other wildlife and leaving a slick that still affects tourism and fishing in the region.
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