BP seeks rehearing in spill settlement dispute

NEW ORLEANS – BP on Tuesday asked an appeals court to review a ruling upholding a multibillion-dollar settlement to compensate victims of the company’s 2010 oil spill in the Gulf of Mexico. In a filing with the full 5th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals, BP argued that a divided three-judge panel from the court erred earlier this month when it affirmed a U.S. district judge’s approval of the company’s settlement with a team of private plaintiffs’ lawyers.

The New Orleans-based appeals court has 14 active judges and eight senior judges who also hear cases.

BP argued that the panel’s Jan. 10 majority decision will force the company to pay hundreds of millions of dollars to businesses that weren’t harmed by the massive spill.

Plaintiffs’ lawyers have said BP simply undervalued the settlement and underestimated how many claimants would be eligible for payments.