Oil giant BP is challenging hundreds of millions of dollars in claims that were filed by businesses after the company's 2010 oil spill in the Gulf of Mexico.
The total price tag for BP's oil spill is huge — $42.5 billion. At issue here is a fraction of that — but still a lot of money. BP says $540 million has been awarded to businesses for losses that "are either nonexistent, exaggerated or have nothing to do with the Deepwater Horizon accident."
The U.S. 5th Circuit Court has asked that the Texas Supreme Court make a ruling on whether oil giant BP had adequate insurance coverage prior to the Deepwater Horizon oil spill.
Osler McCarthy, a staff attorney for public information at the Texas Supreme Court, said that when BP asked its insurance company, to pay up, its insurer told them they weren't covered.
McCarthy said the court will be examining if the primary coverage was enough for BP to be covered for the pollution damage to the Texas Coast or if the company should have purchased additional umbrella policies.
BP is fighting the settlement it agreed to last summer that let the oil company avoid thousands of potential lawsuits over the 2010 Gulf of Mexico oil spill.
Just after the spill, when oil was still gushing into the Gulf, BP touted the $20 billion it set aside for claims. But now it says the claim process is corrupt and is hoping a court will overturn the settlement that established the claims fund.
Ending the claims would mean stopping a well-oiled machine.
Originally published on Thu November 15, 2012 5:32 pm
Update at 11:30 a.m. ET: Oil giant BP has agreed to plead guilty to criminal misconduct related to the 2010 Gulf Oil spill and will pay a record $4 billion in criminal penalties, the company just confirmed. And it will pay $525 million in civil penalties in a resolution with the Securities and Exchanges Commission. BP will make the payments over six years.