BP loses another round in its battle to stiff oil spill victims

BP loses another round in its battle to stiff oil spill victims by Michael Hiltzik, June 10, 2014, Los Angeles Times
Oil giant BP this week extended its .000 batting streak in its effort to kill its own settlement in the Gulf of Mexico oil spill disaster, losing a bid to have the Supreme Court halt payments to spill victims while it stretched out its appeal. The court’s ruling was as terse as it gets, a single sentence declaring that BP’s motion to continue a stay on damage payments was denied. Payments have now been resumed.

The lifting of the injunction … will allow hundreds of millions of dollars to be irretrievably scattered to claimants … .

– BP spokesman Geoff Morrell

They agreed to the deal in court, now they’re trying to back out of the deal they agreed to. BP is powerful and the powerful aren’t held responsible for much of anything anymore. They agreed to the deal but now they’re looking around and saying, “Why should we be held responsible when others…


BP has fared much worse in court. Its efforts to overturn the settlement were rejected by a U.S. District Court in Louisiana and twice by the U.S. 5th Circuit Court of Appeals. Payments were stayed by the federal courts while BP’s appeals proceeded.

The company had asked the Supreme Court to continue the stay, and a few legal experts suggested that it might have an ace in the hole: a son of Justice Antonin Scalia, who rules on such applications from the 5th Circuit, is a partner at Gibson, Dunn & Crutcher, BP’s law firm in the case. As it turned out, Scalia dodged the appearance of a conflict of interest by referring the oil firm’s motion to the entire court.

The company is down to one final Hail Mary pass, a full appeal of the 5th Circuit rulings to the Supreme Court. The company hasn’t yet made a motion, and it’s uncertain that the court would accept the appeal. [Emphasis added]

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