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BP Appeals Order Victims Needn’t Prove Spill Losses

Dec. 26 (Bloomberg) -- BP Plc challenged a judge’s ruling that it must pay hundreds of millions of dollars in businesses’ claims without proof the losses were directly caused by the 2010 Gulf of Mexico oil spill.

BP filed a notice of appeal today in federal court in New Orleans, where thousands of spill-damage claims are consolidated. It challenged a decision by U.S. District Judge Carl Barbier saying it must live with terms it negotiated under a $9.2 billion settlement of most private damage claims.

Barbier issued the ruling after an appeals court ordered him to re-evaluate terms of the accord, which BP contends requires businesses to prove their losses were caused by the spill. The London-based company says it’s paying hundreds of millions of dollars in fictitious losses and improperly calculated claims.

Lawyers for victims of the worst offshore spill in U.S. history claim BP is trying to renegotiate a settlement that is proving more costly than it originally envisioned.

Barbier agreed with the victims’ lawyers and blocked BP from making contradictory arguments in future court proceedings.

The case is In Re: Oil Spill by the Oil Rig Deepwater Horizon in the Gulf of Mexico on April 20, 2010, MDL-2179, U.S. District Court, Eastern District of Louisiana (New Orleans).

To contact the reporter on this story: Laurel Brubaker Calkins in Houston at lcalkins@bloomberg.net.

To contact the editor responsible for this story: Michael Hytha at mhytha@bloomberg.net.

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