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BP to appeal Fifth Circuit's decision to allow Gulf victims' claims

A mobile claims office was set up by BP at Chalmette, La., as seen here in August of 2010
A mobile claims office was set up by BP at Chalmette, La., as seen here in August of 2010Photo by Chris Graythen/Getty Images

BP said today that the company will seek review by the Supreme Court regarding the Fifth Circuit New Orleans appeals court's decision Monday concerning the compensation of claims for losses that BP says have "no apparent connection to the Deepwater Horizon spill".

It was decided by the appeals court that BP did not have a legitimate case to avoid paying victims of the spill.

The Court said,

Today the court approves a class action settlement agreement that permits payment for economic losses 'without regard to whether such losses resulted or may have resulted from a cause other than the Deepwater Horizon oil spill.'

Yesterday, worldwide, news outlets reported that BP had lost its bid to limit the cost of its 2012 settlement with victims of the spring 2010 oil spill in the Gulf of Mexico, as decided by the Fifth Circuit.

Today, BP's press release informed that the company "will ask the Fifth Circuit not to issue its mandate until the Supreme Court has considered the matter. Suspension of the mandate would keep the stay of business economic loss payments in place during that time."

BP’s decision to seek Supreme Court review comes after a divided Fifth Circuit denied BP’s request for rehearing, with two of thirteen judges dissenting. Their opinions, said BP today, "emphasize that the issues raised by BP 'present questions of exceptional importance,' reflect a deep divide in approaches among the federal appellate courts, and merit Supreme Court review..."

BP had up to 90 days to appeal, but instead took fewer than 48 hours to make a decision.

The company said today,

No company would agree to pay for losses that it did not cause, and BP certainly did not when it entered into this settlement. BP will continue to fight to return the settlement to its original, explicit, and lawful purpose – the compensation of claimants who suffered actual losses due to the spill.

To view the preceding decision and related orders, please click on the United States Court of Appeals for the Fifth Circuit website.

Hyperlinks and bold marks are those of the examiner's.

There are thirteen judges, not fifteen, in the Appeals Court, as stated in an earlier version of this article.