BP has been busy scrambling to limit the amount of money it must pay out as a result of the 2010 disaster in the Gulf of Mexico, but yesterday the gas and oil giant had a serious set back. The US Supreme Court denied BP’s challenge to the multibillion dollar settlement that the company signed in 2012. That settlement forced the company to compensate businesses for financial losses due to the spill.
The 2010 spill killed 11 people and was the largest US offshore oil spill in history. Since then, BP has paid $2.3 billion in losses out of a total of $4.25 billion in settlement money. The company was also responsible for $4.5 billion in fines. BP attempted to argue that the agreement was interpreted incorrectly by the court-appointed administrator, which has resulted in payouts to companies who could not show that their losses resulted from the spill.
BP claims that it has paid $450,000 to a hotel that closed due to an unrelated fire and $662,000 to a nursing home that had closed before the spill. BP has set aside $43 billion for compensation for the disaster.
“On behalf of all our stakeholders, we will therefore continue to advocate for the investigation of suspicious or implausible claims and to fight fraud where it is uncovered,” said Geoff Morrell, spokesman for BP. All told, BP estimates that it will pay $9.7 billion in claims to the so-called plaintiffs’ steering committee, but inaccurate claims could increase that amount.