[JURIST] The US Supreme Court [official website] on Monday declined [order list, PDF] to review a settlement with BP resulting from the 2010 Deepwater Horizon disaster [JURIST backgrounder]. The case arises from a decision [JURIST report] by the US Court of Appeals for the Fifth Circuit [official website] last March. BP claims [SCOTUSblog backgrounder] that under the terms of the settlement they are forced to pay businesses and individuals who could not prove that their injuries were caused by the oil spill in 2010. BP argued upon appeal that if these claimants could not prove causation for their injuries then the ruling and settlement is a constitutional violation of Article III and federal law addressing class actions. After the order issued by the high court, BP stated [press release], “[o]n behalf of all our stakeholders we will therefore continue to advocate for the investigation of suspicious or implausible claims and to fight fraud where it is uncovered. In doing so, we hope to prevent further exploitation of our commitment to compensating all those legitimately harmed by the spill.”
In August, a federal district court in Louisiana ruled [JURIST report] that BP was grossly negligent and bears a majority of the blame for the 2010 Deepwater Horizon disaster. In May BP asked [JURIST report] the Supreme Court to stay a March ruling requiring the company to make massive settlement payments as a result of the Deepwater Horizon oil spill. Earlier in May BP announced it would appeal [JURIST report] the Fifth Circuit’s ruling to the Supreme Court. Also in May the Fifth Circuit issued a mandate [ERG law report] to the district court to lift the injunction in accordance with its December 2013 decision [JURIST report], which held BP could not require businesses to prove their economic losses were directly caused by the Deepwater Horizon spill under the terms of the settlement agreement.