A federal judge ruled today that BP is guilty of gross negligence and willful misconduct for its role in the April 20, 2010, Deepwater Horizon disaster in the Gulf of Mexico. The ruling may force the energy company to pay billions of dollars more in civil penalties under the Clean Water Act.
In the ruling, U.S. District Judge Carl Barbier concluded that BP Exploration & Production (BPXP) is subject to enhanced civil penalties under the Clean Water Act “as the discharge of oil was the result of BPXP’s gross negligence and BPXP’s willful misconduct.”
In 2013, BP agreed to pay a record $4 billion in penalties and fines in connection with the oil spill, which killed 11 people and spewed oil for almost three months.
The trial to determine who was responsible for the environmental disaster also included Transocean Ltd. and Halliburton Co., according to Bloomberg, although the judge didn’t find them as responsible for the spill as BP. In his summary, Barbier said BP was 67% at fault, Transocean 30% and Halliburton 3%.
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