NEW ORLEANS (CN) - The Supreme Court Monday rejected an appeal from 11 Louisiana parishes that sought to reinstate their claims for damage to wildlife from BP's 2010 Gulf of Mexico oil spill.
The justices left in place lower court rulings that dismissed the lawsuits against BP and other companies involved in the catastrophic oil spill without comment. The April 20, 2010, explosion of the BP-leased Deepwater Horizon rig killed 11 and unleashed the worst environmental disaster in U.S. history.
The lawsuits were filed by Plaquemines, Orleans, St. Bernard, Lafourche, Terrebonne, St. Charles, Jefferson, Iberia, St. Mary, St. Tammany and Cameron parishes.
BP says it has already spent $27 billion on cleaning up the oil spill and settling damage claims. In September U.S. District Judge Carl Barbier who is overseeing the oil spill litigation in New Orleans federal court ruled the oil company acted with gross negligence regarding the spill. That finding could cost BP up to $18 billion in Clean Water Act fines. Also in September, Minnesota's Department of Natural Resources announced it had joined the oil spill litigation seeking damages after research into the effects of the spill on migratory white pelicans found oil in 90 percent of white pelican eggs studied, and the chemical dispersant Corexit, which BP sprayed atop the oil to sink it, in 80 percent of the eggs.Follow @https://twitter.com/sabrinacanfiel2
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