The British government is urging the U.S. Supreme Court to review lower court class action rulings against BP for the Deepwater Horizon spill, calling the rulings unfair and damaging to international commerce.
BP is challenging lower court decisions that require it to compensate claimants who showed no injury from the 2010 spill.
In a friend of the court brief, the British government said those rulings raise concerns about the “vigorous and fair resolution of disputes.”
The British government said the lower court rulings could threaten the fairness and cooperation required for international trade, Reuters said.
In a separate statement, BP said companies could shy away from investing in the United States because they would be “exposed to liability for losses they did not cause.”
BP said it is also concerned that the rulings could fundamentally change class action law and discourage companies from settling complex cases.
Britain and the United States carry out more than $200 billion in trade every year.
According to the government’s brief, British businesses account for 17 percent of all foreign direct investment in the United States.
In 2010, BP established the Deepwater Horizon Oil Spill Trust Fund, a $20 billion trust to cover damages related to the spill.
Last week, a federal court judge found BP guilty of gross negligence and willful misconduct in its operation of the Deepwater Horizon rig.
In April 2010, the Deepwater Horizon rig exploded and sank in the Gulf of Mexico after a well blowout, killing 11 workers and causing an oil spill.
BP is facing fines and penalties of up to $18 billion on top of the $42 billion in current penalties and fines.
BP said it will also appeal that ruling.
The British government’s brief is not related to last week’s decision.