Gulf businesses that suffered economic damage as a result of the 2010 Deepwater Horizon oil spill will finally be compensated without having to prove their losses were connected to the spill, after a federal appeals court ruling Monday. In a marginal victory for Gulf of Mexico business owners, the court rejected an attempt by BP to shirk their initial settlement agreement by forcing businesses to submit evidence along with their claims.
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By a 2-1 vote, the 5th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals in New Orleans upheld a Dec. 24 ruling by U.S. District Judge Carl Barbier in New Orleans, authorizing the payments on so-called business economic loss claims. It also said an injunction preventing payments should be lifted.
"Today's ruling makes clear that BP can't rewrite the deal it agreed to," said attorneys Steve Herman and Jim Roy, who represent the business claimants, in a statement following the ruling.