Supreme Court Denies BP’s Appeal on Claims
Nearly five years after the massive spill, the U.S. Supreme Court has denied hearing BP’s appeal on private and business claims, meaning the British oil giant must continue to make the payments on the $7.8 billion agreed on for those claims after the spill. Roberta Avila, Executive Director of the Steps Coalition, says, "All the businesses that have been impacted, all the individuals that were impacted, so this is really great news. Their attorneys can now move forward with those claims and get them the funding they’ve been waiting for."
The decision is good news for those businesses that were able to stay afloat and wait it out and will likely mean a boost for the local economy down the line, but for some, it came too late. State Representative John Read (R), District 112, says, "For those businesses that still exist, this will be great capital for them to expand, to cover inventory, to just put them on a solid footing, and for those that were not able to sustain, maybe those will come back on board and reopen and make another go of it."
BP appealed the $7.8 billion because they were concerned about the authenticity of claims relating to the spill. Now BP expects the claims to be significantly higher than $9.2 billion. The Supreme Court still didn’t budge. Avila also says, "It means that they’re saying to BP, ‘You waited too long to pay what you need to pay to people who experienced damages to their business and individuals.’"
The battle isn’t over for BP. The oil company is due in court in January and could have to pay out an additional $18 billion if found guilty of violations of the Clean Water Act.