A federal judge in New Orleans has denied a motion by BP plc (NYSE: BP) to suspend payments to some claimants for damages suffered as a result of the 2010 disaster in the Gulf of Mexico that took 11 lives and spewed 5 million barrels of oil into the Gulf’s waters. BP had claimed that the formula used to settle claims is being misinterpreted and improperly applied.
BP has no control over the claims settlements. The company provides the cash and the court has appointed an administrator to supervise the payments. The court appointed former FBI director Louis Freeh as a special master earlier this month to investigate claims of misconduct on the part of one lawyer who is involved in settling claims against BP.
The oil company had claimed that the lawyer in question had been referring claims to a specific New Orleans law firm in exchange for cash from settlement payments. Freeh is currently investigating that claim.
In the judge’s ruling today he said there was BP failed to provide any evidence that would justify shutting down the entire claims process.
Shares of BP are trading up about 0.7% just after noon today, at $43.00 in a 52-week range of $39.42 to $45.45.