"Federal Judge Denies BP Bid To Suspend Payments on Oil Spill Claims"

"A federal judge Friday denied British oil giant BP's bid for a preliminary injunction that would have allowed the company to temporarily suspend payments related to claims from the 2010 oil spill until an investigation into alleged fraud in the multibillion-dollar claims payment program is complete."

"BP filed for the emergency preliminary injunction earlier this week, arguing that because two of three top lawyers involved in the Court Supervised Settlement Program "apparently intervened" in the claims process -- and due to the tremendous amount of money involved in the payouts -- the court should grant the injunction in order to prevent potentially wrongful expenditures, and irreparable damages.

Last month, court-appointed claims administrator Patrick Juneau announced that he is conducting an internal investigation after hearing rumors that a top-ranking staff attorney had received portions of settlement payments from clients he had referred to the office before his employment there. On July 2, Federal Judge Carl Barbier appointed former FBI Director Louis Freeh to conduct an investigation."

Juliet Linderman reports for the New Orleans Times-Picayune July 19, 2013.

Source: New Orleans Times-Picayune, 07/22/2013