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BP may again appeal a Fifth Circuit ruling on business economic loss payments

A full moon rises over an oil-polluted beach at Biloxi, Miss a year after the spill
A full moon rises over an oil-polluted beach at Biloxi, Miss a year after the spill
Mario Tama for Getty Images, Apr. 17, 2011

According to a Court ruling here Mon. Mar 3, a day before Mardis Gras, Gulf businesses suffering losses from the Apr. 2010 BP disaster have reason to celebrate.

BP issued a press release yesterday stating that it disagrees with a decision in New Orleans' US Court of Appeals for the Fifth Circuit, a decision decided 2-1 against the company, that denies its request to block payments of certain business economic loss (BEL) claims not easily traceable to the oil spill.

Back in Dec. 2012, the Economic and Property Damages Settlement dictated that the oil behemoth was on the hook for continuing payments to all business affected by the spill.

Claims administrator Patrick Juneau will continue to be on the lookout for false claims, but without the strict censure BP sought. The website, which keeps track of payments made according to Juneau, shows that Louisiana residents have filed nearly 71,000 claims, 26 percent of the total claims. The only state having filed more claims so far is Florida, at 30 percent.

On Dec. 5, 2013 the Court wrote in an Order that,

On December 2, 2013, the panel of the Fifth Circuit found that this Court "erred by not considering [BP's] arguments on causation." The panel remanded the issue of causation and ordered this Court to "craft[] '[a] stay tailored so that those who experienced actual injury traceable to loss
from the Deepwater Horizon accident continue to receive recovery but those who did not do not receive their payments until this case is fully heard and decided through the judicial process,' including by any other panel of this court that resolves these issues.

On Monday, the Court upheld that,

...the Settlement Agreement did not require those submitting claims for certain business losses to provide evidence of causation.

BP added in its press release that it disagrees with this decision by the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Fifth Circuit, that it,

had asked the Court to prevent payments to business economic loss (BEL) claimants "whose alleged injuries are not traceable to the Deepwater Horizon accident and oil spill."

BP believes that such BEL claimants are not "proper class members" under the terms of the settlement and is considering its appellate options, the company said.

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