BP is expecting a surge in compensation payments over the 2010 Deepwater Horizon disaster, after a slowdown that has lasted almost two months.
The company revealed in a court filing just before the Thanksgiving holiday last week that it had been told payments for businesses' economic losses, which had been held up since an appeal court ruling at the beginning of October, were about to restart.
It says the expected resumption of payments increases the need for the court to issue an injunction blocking unjustified claims for compensation under the settlement it agreed with plaintiffs' lawyers last year.
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BP argues that businesses that appear not to have suffered losses as a result of the spill have been paid more than $500m as a result of a misinterpretation of the agreement by the court-appointed claims administrator,and says it is trying to stop any more such payments, which could run to billions of dollars.
The cost of the settlement, which BP has estimated to be significantly more than $9.2bn, will begin to hit reported profits if future court decisions go against it.