Image courtesy of Scott/Flickr.

The U.S. Supreme Court refused to hear a lawsuit brought by 11 Louisiana parishes against BP for alleged damages to wildlife caused by the 2010 Deepwater Horizon spill.

The justices did not comment on the case Monday, leaving the lower court decision to dismiss the suit against BP and other companies involved in the spill in place, the AP said.

The district attorneys for the parishes involved in suit said the federal courts ignored Louisiana’s Wildlife Statute when the case was dismissed.

Louisiana’s Wildlife Statute empowers the state to impose penalties beyond amounts provided for in federal laws for damages cased to wildlife by offshore spills.

The lawsuits were filed by Plaquemines, Orleans, St. Bernard, Lafourche, Terrebonne, St. Charles, Jefferson, Iberia, St. Mary, St. Tammany and Cameron parishes.

BP said it has paid over $27 billion to settle damage claims and clean up the coast.

In September, BP was found guilty of willful misconduct and gross negligence for the 2010 Deepwater Horizon explosion in the Gulf of Mexico that killed 11 workers and caused one of the largest oil spills in U.S. history.

The company initially expected to pay about $7.8 billion in damages through an uncapped agreement. However, the final total could be substantially higher.

BP could face up to $18 billion in penalties for violations of the Clean Water Act.


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