Judge denies BP effort to suspend Gulf spill claims process
NEW ORLEANS, July 19 (Reuters) - A federal judge denied BP Plc's attempt to suspend payments to people and businesses claiming damages related to the 2010 Gulf of Mexico oil spill, while an investigator looks into possible misconduct in the payout process.
The payments are being made under a program set up under a settlement signed by BP Plc last year. Judge Carl Barbier, who is hearing the consolidated spill-related civil case against BP and its contractors in New Orleans, said there was no evidence that the "mass of claims" were not being properly evaluated.
"BP has not produced any evidence that would warrant the court taking the drastic step of shutting down the entire claims program," Barbier said.