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BP appeals US court verdict on Macondo

05th September 2014

BP has said that it strongly disagrees with US court decision on the Macondo incident

BP Macondo
BP Macondo

With little apparent warning, the judge has ruled on phase 1 of the main Macondo trial (MDL-2179). BP has been found guilty of gross negligence. BP reacted quickly with a statement in which it said that it strongly disagrees with the decision issued by the United States District Court for the Eastern District of Louisiana and will immediately appeal to the United States Court of Appeals for the Fifth Circuit.

It continued: “BP believes that the finding that it was grossly negligent with respect to the accident and that its activities at the Macondo well amounted to willful misconduct is not supported by the evidence at trial.  The law is clear that proving gross negligence is a very high bar that was not met in this case.  BP believes that an impartial view of the record does not support the erroneous conclusion reached by the District Court.

“The Court has not yet ruled on the number of barrels spilled and no penalty has yet been determined. The District Court will hold additional proceedings, which are currently scheduled to begin in January 2015, to consider the application of statutory penalty factors in assessing a per-barrel Clean Water Act penalty.  The Clean Water Act requires the District Court to consider a number of factors in determining an appropriate penalty.  The statutory maximum penalty is $1,100 per barrel where the court finds simple negligence and $4,300 per barrel where the court finds gross negligence or willful misconduct.  During the penalty proceedings, BP will seek to show that its conduct merits a penalty that is less than the applicable maximum after application of the statutory factors.” 

On Tuesday, Halliburton announced that it had reached an agreement to settle a majority of the plaintiffs’ claims asserted against the company as a result of the Macondo well incident.


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