Appeals court hands BP another win in its bid to block settlement payments to many businesses

NEW ORLEANS – A federal appeals court has handed BP another victory in its bid to block what could be hundreds of millions of dollars in settlement payments to Gulf Coast businesses following the company’s 2010 oil spill in the Gulf of Mexico.

A three-judge panel of the 5th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals ruled Monday that a judge must reconsider BP’s arguments that the settlement shouldn’t compensate businesses if their losses can’t be directly traced to the massive spill. The panel said U.S. District Judge Carl Barbier erred last month in refusing to consider such arguments from the company.

Last month, Barbier said BP and the plaintiffs’ lawyers already agreed on an objective method of proving whether or not a loss was caused by the oil spill.