Damage payments from the compensation fund for BP’s massive oil spill in the Gulf of Mexico have been stopped temporarily as the fund says it needs time to follow a court order that part of the settlements be set aside to pay hundreds of lawyers.
On Tuesday, the Gulf Coast Claims Facility, which was set up to handle claims against BP, said payments would be halted to comply with an order by U.S. District Judge Carl Barbier requiring 6 percent of payments from Nov. 7 onwards go to plaintiffs’ lawyers. The judge issued the order Dec. 28.
A statement from the claims facility said the fund needs time to reformulate payments and comply with the order.
Barbier’s ruling throws a new wrinkle into a legal battle over fees and compensation.