April 23, 2013 02:57

A court-appointed claims administrator can continue making payments to businesses affected by the 2010 oil spill in the Gulf of Mexico while BP appeals a judge's decision in a dispute over the payouts.

NEW ORLEANS (AP) - A court-appointed claims administrator can continue making payments to businesses affected by the 2010 oil spill in the Gulf of Mexico while BP appeals a judge's decision in a dispute over the payouts.

A three-judge panel from the 5th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals on Monday rejected BP's request for a stay of an April 5 order by U.S. District Judge Carl Barbier.

Barbier refused to block what could be billions of dollars in settlement payouts to businesses that claim the spill cost them money.

Barbier already had upheld claims administrator Patrick Juneau's interpretation of settlement terms governing payments to businesses. BP argued that Juneau has exposed the company to paying for fictitious losses.

The 5th Circuit agreed Monday to expedite BP's appeal of Barbier's ruling.