BP continually harps that the settlement process in the Gulf of Mexico is overrun with “illegitimate” or “fraudulent” claims, which, by the way, is totally false. Those claims come from a company that has tried its dead-level best to change the settlement it helped design and fully supported in the multidistrict litigation (MDL) in New Orleans. BP regularly places advertisements in major publications and asks the public to call a fraud hotline to catch any alleged fraudsters. It is ironic that BP is now being accused of wrongfully collecting more than $33 million in state reimbursements from the State of Ohio to clean up storage tank leaks in that state. While this is an unrelated matter from the disaster in the Gulf, it’s certainly a touch of irony.
The State of Ohio has filed suit against BP. It’s alleged in the suit that the oil giant wrongfully collected more than $33 million in state reimbursements to clean up storage tank leaks. Attorney General Mike DeWine announced the filing of the suit in a news release. BP claims it acted in good faith and says it will defend the lawsuit. The suit, filed in Franklin County Common Pleas Court, alleges that BP got the money after falsely telling the state that it had no insurance for the leaks. That appears to have been a false statement.
Ohio set up the Petroleum Financial Assurance Fund to help pay for cleanup costs in the event that storage tank owners did not carry any insurance or accept money from other sources. It’s alleged in the lawsuit that BP submitted 2,651 reimbursement claims to the state despite having “layers of insurance and often accept[ing] both state and insurance money for the same leaks.” An additional $22,281,926.28 is being sought from pending claims. The lawsuit demands that BP return the money and pay unspecified damages.
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