BP officials say they will appeal U.S. Dist. Judge Carl Barbier's ruling finding the company's "gross negligence" to be the cause of the 2010 Deepwater Horizon oil spill.
“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,’’ BP spokesman Greg Morrell said in a statement. “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.”
In a 153-page ruling that came down Thursday, the federal judge found the company to have engaged in "willful misconduct" in the weeks and months leading up to the 87-day spill. Eleven workers were killed when the Deepwater Horizon drilling platform exploded. Barbier found BP to be "reckless" and responsible for 67 percent of the oil spill in the Gulf of Mexico, while contractor Transocean — the company from which BP got the rig — was found to be "negligent" and 30 percent responsible for the ecological disaster.
The ruling means BP will likely face large fines as outlined in the Clean Water Act. Haliburtion, another contractor originally named in the suit, settled for $1 billion two days before the ruling. Barbier found Haliburton to be three percent accountable for the spill, calling the company "negligent" in his ruling.