The Supreme Court on Monday refused BP’s challenge to
a multibillion-dollar settlement arising from the massive 2010 Gulf of Mexico oil spill, declining to hear the company’s case that it is being forced to compensate businesses for losses unrelated to the disaster.
BP had waged a major public relations battle and hired an all-star battalion of lawyers to make the case that federal courts and the claims administrator misread the agreement that sought to settle claims related to the nation’s worst offshore oil spill.
But the Supreme Court without comment declined to review lower-court rulings that rejected BP’s claims . Those courts said the company must abide by an agreement that did not require the kind of proof BP now insists upon.
The terms “are not as protective of BP’s present concerns as might have been achievable . . . but they are the protections that were accepted by the parties and approved by the district court,” Circuit Judge Leslie Southwick wrote in March when a panel of the U.S. Court of Appeals for the 5th Circuit ruled 2 to 1 against BP. “There is nothing fundamentally unreasonable about what BP accepted but now wishes it had not.”
BP was trying to limit the cost of the settlement reached in late 2012. At the time, BP estimated that the deal would cost the company $7.8 billion, but now says the price tag is pushing $10 billion and could climb higher.
The company has made the case in...