BP seeks halt on oil spill payouts

BPBP has asked a judge to temporarily suspend all settlement payments to Gulf Coast businesses and people who claim they lost money after the company's 2010 oil spill while former FBI director Louis Freeh investigates alleged misconduct by a lawyer who helped administer the multibillion-dollar settlement programme.

A court filing by BP lawyers argues that because of the allegations there is a risk that other aspects of the claims process have been compromised.

US District Judge Carl Barbier did not immediately rule on BP's latest request to halt settlement payouts.

In April he refused to block what could be billions of dollars of payments to businesses after BP argued that he and claims administrator Patrick Juneau misinterpreted the settlement and forced the company to cover inflated and fictitious losses.