Judge Rules BP Grossly Negligent in Deepwater Horizon Oil Spill

By Peter DePaolis

Large corporations frequently disregard safety regulations in an effort to increase their bottom line. When they do so, tragic accidents can occur, resulting in injuries and death. Sometimes the number of injuries and deaths can be staggering.

In 2010, an offshore oil drilling rig owned by BP blew up off the coast of Louisiana when a surge of methane known as a “kick” sparked an explosion. Eleven workers were killed and the rig, called the Deepwater Horizon, sank two days later. Oil gushed into the Gulf of Mexico for nearly three months, however, polluting the coast in several states.

A U.S. district judge said last month that BP was “grossly negligent” for its role in the spill, the worst offshore disaster in U.S. history. The new ruling could add billions of dollars in fines to the more than $42 billion already levied against the petroleum giant.

The judge said that the results of a test on the stability of the oil well, had it been interpreted properly, could have prevented the catastrophe.

This gross negligence ruling carries a potential fine of $4,300 per barrel, and with as many as 4.9 million barrels spilled, fines should reach into the billions. The ruling also seriously increases BP’s liability for civil penalties.

Not surprisingly, BP announced it would appeal the decision.

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Did You Know? A third phase of the civil trial over the BP disaster is scheduled for January 2015. It could result in even more fines.

Koonz, McKenney, Johnson & DePaolis L.L.P.

Maryland, Washington, D.C. and Virginia Injury Attorneys


Source: http://www.maritime-executive.com/article/BP-Grossly-Negligent-in-Deepwater-Horizon-Spill-2014-09-04

About the Author
Peter DePaolis joined the firm in 1980 and has since represented a large number of individuals involved in automobile collisions, truck accidents, bus crashes, defective products, and medical malpractice cases. A significant portion of Mr. DePaolis’ practice is devoted to working on behalf of people suffering from asbestosis, mesothelioma, and other asbestos-related cancers. He has led his firm’s fight against the asbestos industry and has recovered over $30 million in damages for asbestos victims and their families.