By Laura Barron-Lopez - 05/20/14 10:36 AM EDT
BP is facing billions of dollars in additional claims after a federal appeals court upheld a previous ruling that businesses don't have to prove they were directly harmed by the oil giant's 2010 Gulf of Mexico oil spill.
Monday's decision, from 5th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals in New Orleans, leaves BP with few options. Either the company pays the claims which they have said are "fictitious," Bloomberg News reports, or they appeal the ruling to the U.S. Supreme Court.
A BP spokesman said in an emailed statement to the Associated Press that the company would continue to explore its legal options.
Judge Leslie Southwick wrote in Monday's order that the criteria for business claims spelled out by the court-appointed claims administrator highlight a number of combinations that may fit that criteria.