BP seeks return of millions in Gulf spill damage payments

|About: BP p.l.c. (BP)|By:, SA News Editor

BP asked U.S. District Judge Barbier yesterday to make restitution of hundreds of millions of dollars in "erroneous" payments to Gulf coast businesses - plus interest and attorneys' fees - under its multibillion-dollar oil spill settlement.

BP said “a vast number" of claimants were "unjustly enriched" before the court wrote its new policy in May that reversed accounting rules on how certain cash-based businesses are compensated for losses related to the 2010 Gulf of Mexico spill.

As examples, BP cited a seller of animal skins who was overpaid by $14M and a construction company hundreds of miles away from the Gulf who received $8.4M; letting these awards stand uncorrected "would violate basic principles of fairness and equity," BP maintained.

Claimants' lawyers said it is just another attempt by BP to back out of its commitments.