Judge rules against BP in spill settlement dispute

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Associated Press

Posted on December 24, 2013 at 10:01 PM

Updated Tuesday, Dec 24 at 10:38 PM

NEW ORLEANS (AP) — A federal judge has rejected BP's argument that a multibillion-dollar settlement over the company's massive 2010 Gulf oil spill shouldn't compensate businesses if they can't directly trace their losses to the spill.

U.S. District Judge Carl Barbier said in Tuesday's ruling that the settlement was designed to avoid the delays that would result from a "claim-by claim analysis" of whether each claim can be traced to the spill.

Earlier this month, a three-judge panel of the 5th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals ruled that Barbier erred when he initially refused to consider BP's "causation" arguments.

Barbier agreed with plaintiffs' lawyers that BP can't make these arguments because the company took a contradictory position on the same issue when it urged Barbier last year to approve the settlement.

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