U.S. District Judge Carl Barbier in New Orleans ruled today that BP was “grossly negligent” in the 2010 Deepwater Horizon rig explosion and may face up to $18 billion in civil penalties, according to The WSJ. In addition, Transocean and Halliburton were found ‘negligent’ – a lessor offense – (fines up to $1,100 per barrel for ‘negligence’, $4,300 for ‘gross negligence’). This result comes 2 years after BP agreed to accept criminal responsibility for the disaster and to pay $4.5 billion in fines and restitution. BP quickly issued a statement that it will appeal the decision and believes the findings “are not supported by evidence at trial.”
As Bloomberg reports,
In a turning point after four years of legal wrangling over responsibility, U.S. District Judge Carl Barbier’s ruling laid the bulk of the blame on BP for the explosion, which killed 11 men and caused the largest offshore oil spill in U.S. history.