Judge to Hear BP’s Bid to Block Settlement

NEW ORLEANS (AP) _ A federal judge is set to hear arguments on BP’s request for an order blocking what could be billions of dollars in settlement payouts to businesses who claim the company’s 2010 oil spill in the Gulf of Mexico cost them money.

Friday’s hearing is scheduled to last less than an hour. U.S. District Judge Carl Barbier already has upheld court-appointed claims administrator Patrick Juneau’s interpretation of settlement terms governing payments to businesses affected by the spill.

BP argues that Juneau made decisions in January that expose the company to fictitious losses that were never contemplated in the settlement.

Private plaintiffs’ attorneys who brokered last year’s deal with BP say the London-based oil giant’s allegations are baseless and self-serving.