Business briefs | Judge rules in favor of BP, against fuel dealers

October 2, 2012 

Judge rules in favor of BP PLC, against dealers

A federal judge has dismissed claims by BP fuel dealers that the 2010 oil spill in the Gulf of Mexico diminished the value of the oil giant’s brand and cost them business.

U.S. District Judge Carl Barbier’s ruling Tuesday says the dealers’ claims against BP PLC aren’t viable under the Oil Pollution Act of 1990, general maritime law or state law.

All claims by BP dealers are excluded from the company’s proposed settlement of billions of dollars of claims by other businesses and individuals who blame the spill for economic damages.

Barbier also tossed out claims against BP by Gulf Coast homeowners who claim the spill hurt their property values even though no oil physically touched their property and they haven’t sold their homes.

Facebook launches redesigned help center

Facebook’s redesigned help center aims to make it easier for users to navigate and find what they need help with on the site or its mobile applications.

Though it’s only fully accessible on Facebook’s website, the new help center is designed to look and feel more like a mobile app, said Terry Guo, product manager at the Menlo Park, Calif.-based social media company.

Finding answers has also been streamlined so that what might have taken five clicks of a mouse on the old help center will now take three or fewer, Guo said.

Instead of loading individual Web pages for new topics, for example, topics and answers to questions slide in and out when you click on them, which is faster.

The new help center was scheduled to appear on users’ pages on Tuesday.

Users will see large icons representing six main topics, such as privacy basics, reporting problems or learning more about Timeline, the new profile page on Facebook.

Facebook said it’s also working on tailoring the help center to individuals. For people looking for help with a specific problem, the help center’s search feature scans more than 5,000 “frequently asked questions” to suggest answers.

Airlines probes loose seats on 3 flights

American Airlines says improperly installed clamps caused seats to come loose on some planes, and it’s expanding an inspection to cover dozens of jets.

In the past week, rows of seats have come loose on three separate flights, two of which made emergency landings.

American said Tuesday the problem was caused by improper installation of a clamp used to attach each row of three seats to tracks on the aircraft floor.

The airline had planned to inspect eight of its Boeing 757 jets, but says instead it already inspected 36 and plans to check 11 more.

From wire reports

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