BP appeals to Supreme Court on spill settlement

BP is asking the U.S. Supreme Court to intervene in a battle over who should receive monetary damages related to the Gulf oil spill.

The London oil company on Friday filed a petition asking the Supreme Court to enforce requirements for claimants to prove they can join a class-action settlement that has poured billions of dollars into Gulf Coast pockets to fix economic wreckage left by the spill.

BP said the Supreme Court should reverse lower-court decisions that approved a settlement class with “vast numbers” of claimants who weren’t financially harmed by the 2010 Deepwater Horizon disaster, and require claimants to show evidence that losses were due to the spill.

After a defeat in a lower court, the company said in May it would look to take the legal fight to the high court.

Current interpretations of the settlement, BP said, contradict class-action law as well as the Supreme Court’s long-held interpretation of a section of the Constitution that requires a plaintiff to trace its injury to a defendant’s actions. Those lower court rulings also depart from similar rulings adopted by several other appeals courts and deepen a circuit-court conflict over how class-action members are defined, the energy company said.

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