Deepwater Horizon Update - The Civil Trial Phase

Bruce Thompson
Now that Transocean has joined BP in having their guilty pleas to the criminal charges arising from the Deepwater Horizon explosion and fire approved by the federal court, we are about to enter the civil phase of the linked court proceedings. Anyone who remembers the "O.J." trials, knows that the outcome of one trial is not necessarily a good predictor of the outcome of the other. Having pled guilty, both corporations are constitutionally protected from double jeopardy. This will allow them to fully defend themselves against the Federal Government. There are very complicated chains of responsibility involved. During the criminal phase, BP was presumed to be the "responsible party" once the rig sank, whereas Transocean was the "responsible party" while she was still afloat. Even that simple-looking division is fraught with challenges when one considers that all the deaths and injuries took place while the vessel was still afloat and might therefore be dumped in Transocean's lap, not...(Read Full Post)

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