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US judge rejects BP’s request to reclaim excessive Deepwater Horizon payouts

A US District Court judge has rejected BP's attempts to reclaim excessive compensation payments for the 2010 Deepwater Horizon disaster in the Gulf of Mexico.

 

The British oil and gas company paid hundreds of millions of dollars to the alleged victims of the spill through multiple businesses between August 2012 and October 2013, the Guardian reported.

 

In 2013, BP, however, alleged that a flawed funding formula in their settlement with victims enabled several businesses to collect on questionable claims, and demanded repayment.

 

The company cited examples that an animal skins seller received a $16.9m payment that was $14m too high under the new rules, while a construction company was paid $13.2m, which was $8.4m too high.

 

However, US District Court in New Orleans Judge Carl Barbier ruled that BP cannot recoup the additional money paid out under the old accounting method.

 

Barbier said the earlier claims, "were paid under the settlement's terms as it was interpreted by the claims administrator and the court at that time.'

 

Barbier added: "The fact that the decision and the interpretation were later reversed does not equate to fraud or anything close to it by these claimants."

 

BP spokesman Geoff Morrell said: "BP disagrees with today's decision and will appeal it.

 

"We asked the court, as a matter of equity and fairness, to order the return of excessive payments."

Barbier had agreed to adopt an accounting procedure more to the company's liking earlier this year.

 

To date, BP has paid more than $42bn for the disaster, which killed 11 people and spread oil over seafood grounds and coastal beaches, according to BBC News.

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