BP dropping bid to throw out Gulf of Mexico oil spill, claims administrator
BP Plc on Friday dropped its bid to throw out the administrator overseeing payouts to businesses and individuals claiming damages happening from the 2010 Gulf of Mexico oil spill, mentioning steps the administrator has taken to ease the threat of deception.
The British oil company taken out its appeal of a federal judge’s decision not to eliminate the administrator, Patrick Juneau, who is reviewing claims under a 2012 disposal tied to the explosion of the Deepwater Horizon drilling rig.
BP had long complained that Juneau was awarding extreme payouts, including to claimants who experienced no harm, and was tainted by a conflict of interest.
But it said a review of payout procedures by former FBI director Louis Freeh explains that improvements have been made, as well as the addition of “scores” of fraud investigators.
“This signifies the beginning of a NEW and more gainful relationship between BP and the claims program,” BP America President John Mingé said in a statement.
BP last month raised its projection of the settlement’s cost to $9.9 billion. It initially had anticipated $7.8 billion.
Steve Herman and Jim Roy, lawyers who helped negotiate the settlement on behalf of claimants, said in a combined statement that they hope BP’s decision will facilitate Juneau to “fully focus on getting the enduring claims paid as quickly as possible.”