Bloomberg News reports:
BP acted with gross negligence in setting off the biggest offshore oil spill in U.S. history, a federal judge ruled, handing down a long-awaited decision that may force the energy company to pay billions of dollars more for the 2010 Gulf of Mexico disaster. U.S. District Judge Carl Barbier held a trial without a jury over who was at fault for the environmental catastrophe, which killed 11 people and spewed oil for almost three months into waters that touch the shores of five states. The case also included Transocean Ltd. and Halliburton Co., though the judge didn’t find them as responsible for the spill as BP. “BP’s conduct was reckless,” Barbier wrote in a decision today in New Orleans federal court. “Transocean’s conduct was negligent. Halliburton’s conduct was negligent.” Barbier apportioned fault at 67 percent for BP, 30 percent for Transocean and 3 percent for Halliburton.
BP faces fines of up to $18B. The judge did not rule on how much oil was spilled, which may affect the liability.