BP Faces Fines of up to $17.6bn

BP lost an effort to eliminate the possibility of a finding of gross negligence that might trigger fines as much as $17.6bn in the trial over the 2010 Gulf of Mexico oil spill.

'I’m not going to grant that motion', U.S. District Judge Carl Barbier in New Orleans Monday told a lawyer for the London-based oil company. 'I don’t see any point in arguing it'.

Bloomberg reports that BP’s lawyer Andrew Langan asked Barbier to disallow a gross-negligence finding as lawyers for the plaintiffs suing the company rested their case.

'We don’t think there has been a finding of gross negligence' against BP, Langan said, only to be immediately rebuffed by the judge in the nonjury trial.

For BP, a finding of gross negligence would mean the company might be liable to the U.S. for as much as $17.6bn in Clean Water Act fines, as well as unspecified punitive damages to claimants who weren’t part of a $8.5bn settlement the company reached with most private party plaintiffs last year.

The blowout and explosion aboard the Deepwater Horizon killed 11 workers and spilled more than 4 million barrels of oil into the Gulf of Mexico.

Hit the link below to access the complete Bloomberg article:

BP Loses Bid to Dismiss Gross Negligence in Spill Trial

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image: © Deepwater Horizon Response

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