The Herald Bulletin

Morning Update

Breaking News

July 17, 2013

BP seeks halt to Gulf oil spill settlement payouts

NEW ORLEANS — BP asked a federal judge on Tuesday to temporarily halt all settlement payments to Gulf Coast businesses and residents who claim they lost money after the company's 2010 oil spill while former FBI Director Louis Freeh investigates alleged misconduct by a lawyer who helped administer the multibillion-dollar settlement program.

BP PLC argues in a court filing that it shouldn't be required to take the risk that hundreds of millions of dollars in claims payments could be "tainted by fraud, corruption and malfeasance."

"A temporary suspension in ... payments will eliminate the serious risk of any further irreparable harm to BP while having little negative impact upon the claimants," attorneys for the London-based oil giant wrote.

U.S. District Judge Carl Barbier didn't immediately rule on BP's most recent request to temporarily halt settlement payouts.

In April, Barbier refused to block what could be billions of dollars of payments to businesses after BP argued that he and court-supervised claims administrator Patrick Juneau have misinterpreted the settlement and forced the company to pay for inflated and fictitious losses.

Barbier, who appointed Juneau, upheld his interpretation of settlement terms governing payments to businesses. BP appealed that decision.

A three-judge panel from the 5th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals heard the case last Monday. The panel didn't indicate how soon it would rule.

Last month, Juneau announced that his office is investigating allegations that an attorney on his staff, Lionel H. Sutton III, received a portion of settlement proceeds for claims he had referred to a law firm before he started working on the settlement program. Sutton resigned on June 21, a day after Juneau provided Barbier with a report outlining the allegations. Sutton denied the allegations when Juneau discussed them with him, according to the report. .

Text Only
Breaking News
Featured Ads
More Resources from The Herald Bulletin
AP Video
The Carbon Trap: US Exports Global Warming UN Security Council Calls for Gaza Cease-fire Traditional African Dishes Teach Healthy Eating 13 Struck by Lightning on Calif. Beach Baseball Hall of Famers Inducted Israel, Hamas Trade Fire Despite Truce in Gaza Italy's Nibali Set to Win First Tour De France Raw: Shipwrecked Concordia Completes Last Voyage Raw: Sea Turtle Hatchlings Emerge From Nest Raw: Massive Dust Storm Covers Phoenix 12-hour Cease-fire in Gaza Fighting Begins Raw: Bolivian Dancers Attempt to Break Record Raw: Israel, Palestine Supporters Rally in US Raw: Air Algerie Flight 5017 Wreckage Virginia Governor Tours Tornado Aftermath Judge Faces Heat Over Offer to Help Migrant Kids Kangaroo Goes Missing in Oklahoma More M17 Bodies Return, Sanctions on Russia Grow Raw: Deadly Tornado Hits Virginia Campground Ohio State Marching Band Chief Fired After Probe
Parade
Magazine

Click HERE to read all your Parade favorites including Hollywood Wire, Celebrity interviews and photo galleries, Food recipes and cooking tips, Games and lots more.
Hyperlocal Search
Premier Guide
Find a business

Walking Fingers
Maps, Menus, Store hours, Coupons, and more...
Premier Guide
Helium debate
Helium
Front page
Poll

About 70 houses in the city will be demolished with a federal loan initiative administered by the state. How many more houses in the city do you think need to be razed?

At least 70 more
200 to 500 more
1,000
None
     View Results