BP Loses Appeal – Supreme Court Upholds Settlement Agreement

The appeal attempt by BP to overturn the initial ruling which stipulated that BP must compensate businesses and individuals affected by the April 20, 2010 Gulf Oil disaster was denied Monday by the US Supreme Court. The Supreme Court did not provide comment for their decision, which upholds the validity of the agreement settled by BP nearly two years ago.

In that settlement, BP agreed that businesses and individuals who lived in affected areas along the Gulf Coast would receive financial compensation if a loss of income was sustained after the disaster, regardless of any reason. Originally, this result was praised by BP, as they agreed to compensate all claims, rather than review and negotiate each individual case.

In the past year, BP attempted to revoke their terms of the agreement and mounted a public and legal battle by arguing their position in both court filings and national newspaper ads. This strategy backfired on both accounts as BP lost their appeal.

“With its order, the Supreme Court held – as had the lower courts – that BP must stand by its word and honor its contract,” said by James Roy Partner of Domengeaux, Wright, Roy, and Edwards, who is co-lead counsel for the plaintiffs.

Though legally silenced, BP issued a statement that they will vow “to advocate for the investigation of suspicious or implausible claims and to fight fraud where it is uncovered,” according to BP spokesman Geoff Morell.

Roy praised the Supreme Court’s ruling and remarked this decision is “a huge victory for the Gulf and should finally put to rest BP’s two-year attack on its own settlement process.”

Businesses and individuals will now have an additional six months to submit their claims to the independently administered Settlement Program.