A federal judge has ordered the administrator of a multibillion-dollar settlement over BP's 2010 Gulf of Mexico oil spill to immediately suspend making settlement offers and payments to some businesses that claim the incident cost them money.
US District Carl Barbier issued the order a day after an appeals court reversed his rulings in a dispute between BP and plaintiffs' lawyers over the settlement's formula for compensating businesses.
BP argued that claims administrator Patrick Juneau's interpretation of the settlement could have forced it to pay billions of dollars for bogus or inflated business claims.
Judge Barbier had upheld Mr Juneau's interpretation.
The judge said today's order applies to any business claims in which the "matching of revenues and expenses is an issue", but did not specify how many claimants could be affected.