BP appeals to Supreme Court over ‘scattered’ compensation claims
FORTUNE — BP (BP) has asked the U.S. Supreme Court to recall a New Orleans federal court’s decision to lift an injunction that halted BP’s payments to businesses seeking loss claims related to the 2012 Deepwater Horizon disaster.
The oil group formally filed its request to the Supreme Court on Wednesday, asking it to halt payments that it disputes. BP has argued that it faces “staggering” costs that exceed the actual injury caused by the oil spill if payments were allowed to proceed.
BP spokesman Geoff Morrell had harsh words on the subject: “Unless the mandate is recalled and stayed, hundreds of millions of dollars could be irretrievably scattered to claimants that suffered no injury traceable to the spill.”
As the application to the Supreme Court from Wednesday states, “BP is likely to suffer irreparable harm if the Fifth Circuit’s mandate is not stayed.”
Justice Antonin Scalia is slated to decide BP’s fate, according to a report in the Financial Times, given his duty to handle Fifth Circuit “emergency” applications. The report continues that there is no set deadline for Justice Scalia to make his decision.
Additionally, BP’s request for the Supreme Court to step in and offer guidance comes in light of the company stating that of $2 billion paid already, “those awards include $76 million to entities whose entire losses clearly had nothing to do with the spill.” BP cited “lawyers who lost their licenses and warehouses that burned down before the spill occurred” as examples.
BP claims that the “illegitimate awards also included an additional $546 million” to individuals located “far from the coast” and who “are engaged in business activities that bear no logical connection to the spill.”