Bloomberg reports that Transocean’s missteps in connection with the explosion led Newman to recommend the company pay $1.4bn in civil and criminal penalties and plead guilty to a criminal charge for violating the Clean Water Act, he told U.S. District Judge Carl Barbier Tuesday in a non-jury trial in New Orleans over fault for the spill.
Vernier, Switzerland-based Transocean owned the Deepwater Horizon rig that was drilling BP Plc (BP/)’s Macondo well.
The company acknowledged 'our people should have done more', Newman testified. Instead, he said, 'They accepted the assessment of the BP well site leaders'.
The blowout aboard the Deepwater Horizon spilled more than 4 million barrels of oil into the Gulf of Mexico and killed 11 people. The accident sparked hundreds of lawsuits against London-based BP, Transocean, and Houston-based Halliburton Co. (HAL), which provided cement services.
A trial over liability for the disaster began February 25th. The judge will determine responsibility for the disaster and whether one or more of the companies acted with willful or wanton misconduct or reckless indifference -- the legal requirement for establishing gross negligence.
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image: © Deepwater Horizon Response