The case of the 2010 oil spill resulting from the destruction of the Deepwater Horizon offshore oil rig is one of the most complex cases of our time, involving multiple parties and several worker deaths, as well as maritime, common and statutory law. BP, the company that owned the well, has faced an arduous legal battle because of the massive environmental disaster the oil spill caused, but the battle may soon be over.
Judge Carl Barbier of New Orleans has spent the last five years working through the case to determine BP’s penalties. The trial was split into three parts.
How Is the BP Trial Split Up?
The first part of the trial determined that BP was grossly negligent due to reckless actions by the employees. Proper tests were not conducted on the well prior to the accident, so BP may face the highest possible penalties it can. BP will be fined per barrel, under the Clean Water Act.
The second phase of the trial determined that 3.19m barrels of oil were spilled, a middle ground estimate between that guessed by the United States government and BP. This opens up a maximum penalty of $13.7 billion dollars.
The final part of the trial will involve BP’s defense and attempts to negotiate a smaller price for its grievous mistake.
However, after the ruling is made, BP has a chance to appeal it, which it will almost certainly do. At any rate, it looks like a final decision will not be made for a long time.
Galloway Jefcoat – Louisiana Personal Injury Lawyers
Did You Know? The Clean Water Act was passed in 1972 to maintain the chemical, physical and biological integrity of drinking water.