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Judge Rejects BP’s Bid to Suspend Oil Spill Settlement Payments

BP, the company responsible for the 2010 Gulf of Mexico oil spill, recently submitted second request to temporarily halt settlement payments that are being made to oil spill victims through the company’s court-supervised program, according to a Bloomberg article. That request, however, was denied, clearing the way for those who have been harmed by the oil spill to continue with the process of getting the compensation they rightfully deserve.

Previously, the oil company had made a bid to have the payments suspended due to the fact that an investigation was being made into possible misconduct within the claims program, which is called the Deepwater Horizon Court Supervised Settlement Program. That first bid was denied, so BP renewed the bid in early August. This second request was recently denied as well after a U.S. District judge found that the investigation showed a lack of credible evidence of fraud within the program, according to the article. In addition to rejecting BP’s request, U.S. District Judge Carl Barbier also shot down the company’s claim that a conflict of interest with two of its appeal panelists was getting in the way of its ability to properly appeal payments.

The Deepwater Horizon Court Supervised Settlement Program became the subject of an investigation after one of the lawyers at the program was suspended due to certain allegations. The attorney had been accused of accepting fees from law firms at the same time that those firms’ clients were having claims processed through the program. After that occurrence, an additional attorney was suspended for the same type of allegations.

BP’s alleged conflicts of interest had been based on the issue of claims that were represented by the law firms of two of the program’s appeal panelists. Judge Barbier, however, downplayed the seriousness of the matter by noting that none of those firms’ claims had been approved, paid or appealed. He also said that the alleged conflicts are “not on a basis upon which to suspend the entire payment program,” according to Bloomberg. The Bloomberg article also included a response from the lawyers of the plaintiffs who are suing BP. The attorneys praised the court for making a decision, for a second time, based on actual evidence as opposed to the “unsupported hyperbole and speculation propagated by BP.” According to Bloomberg, BP is facing thousands of lawsuits stemming from the oil spill, and it has estimated that the settlement will lead to costs of $9.6 billion.

Many people’s lives were negative affected by the BP oil spill. There are individuals who had their properties and livelihoods destroyed, as well as those who suffered physical injuries. If you live in Alabama or Florida and you have been adversely impacted by the spill, do not hesitate to contact Morris, Andrews, Talmadge & Driggers, LLC. The law firm has skilled Montgomery personal injury attorneys who can help you file a BP oil spill claim. Contact the firm today!