BP's change of legal strategy encounters resistance

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LONDON (ShareCast) - Late on Friday the US judge overseeing both the settlement with BP (LSE: BP.L - news) as well as the entire civil liability trial arising from the Gulf of Mexico oil spill, Judge Barbier, criticised what he termed as the company's "deeply disappointing" actions.

This follows the oil major's decision to act on observations, made by judges on the Fifth Circuit appeals court in a ruling last month, that the current settlement was allowing many businesses to make false claims against BP, obtaining compensation for losses apparently not linked to the spill.

Judge Barbier refused to order a stop to such payments, alleging that the company's "new position [...is] at odds with the settlement agreement's language and BP's prior statements and submissions," the Financial Times reports.

Barbier also said the company had made "unwarranted" accusations against the court-appointed compensation claims administrator, Patrick Juneau, as well as a "document dump into the record of this case, without leave of court".

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