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Businesses Can Keep BP Oil Spill Payouts, Judge Rules

BP wanted its money back — hundreds of millions of dollars of it — but a federal judge says the oil giant must stick by an agreement with companies that got payouts after claiming the 2010 Gulf oil spill hurt their business. BP argued Wednesday that a flawed funding formula in the settlement is giving money to businesses for questionable claims, and they should be forced to return it.

But U.S. District Judge Carl Barbier says a deal is a deal. Barbier had ordered the formula changed several weeks ago Barbier ruled the payments agreed to by BP included a provision that they would not be changed by later court action. His ruling thwarts BP's latest attempt to control its soaring liability from the spill, which may be nearing $50 billion.

Four years later, BP oil spill still wreaking havoc 2:25

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-- The Associated Press