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BP to ask US Supreme Court to rule on spill payouts

BP said it will appeal to the US Supreme Court over being forced to pay for business losses it says have no link to the Deepwater Horizon oil spill.

WASHINGTON: BP said on Wednesday it will appeal to the US Supreme Court over being forced to pay for business losses it says have no link to the Deepwater Horizon oil spill.

After having lost its argument in the lower courts, BP said it will ask the highest court to review the 2012 settlement in which it agreed to pay out billions of dollars to people and businesses claiming damages from the 2010 Gulf of Mexico disaster.

BP says the broad language of the deal and the lower court rulings mean it is being forced to pay for losses that took place wholly unrelated to, and even before, the largest oil spill in US history.

BP said it is taking its case to the Supreme Court after judges on the 5th Circuit Appeals Court refused on Monday to reconsider earlier rulings in an 8-5 vote against the company.

"No company would agree to pay for losses that it did not cause, and BP certainly did not when it entered into this settlement," the British oil giant said.

"BP will continue to fight to return the settlement to its original, explicit, and lawful purpose -- the compensation of claimants who suffered actual losses due to the spill."

The company said the dissenters in Monday's 5th Circuit ruling said the questions raised in the case were "of exceptional importance" and merit Supreme Court review.

BP argues that the ruling against it accepts an overly broad definition of who can join in a class of victims covered in a damages settlement.

If that is accepted, it suggests companies are less likely to agree to class action damage settlements, prolonging court fights that "would delay compensation for true victims."

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