MOBILE, Ala. (WALA) – Alabama Attorney General Luther Strange says the state will benefit from a federal court ruling that could mean billions of dollars in damages for Alabama from the BP oil spill.
Following a non-jury trial that lasted for months, federal judge Carl Barbier ruled that BP acted “recklessly” and with “gross negligence” as it made “profit-driven decisions”.
It was our country’s worst offshore oil spill, caused when BP’s Macondo well exploded in 2010, killing 11 workers and spewing oil into the Gulf of Mexico for almost 3 months. The oil killed fish and other wildlife and coated marshland and beaches with crude oil. The disaster put fishermen and boat captains out of business and depressed the tourism business along our part of the Gulf coast.
Judge Barbier ruled that BP bears 67% of the blame for the spill, the rig owner Transocean was responsible for 30 percent and cement contractor Halliburton 3%.
The decision exposes BP, which has already paid billions of dollars in damages, to about $18 billion in additional penalties.
Mobile BayKeeper‘s Casi Callaway told FOX10 News anchor Bob Grip the judge’s ruling goes beyond the additional cost for BP. “I think it sends a very strong message to the oil and gas industry that you cannot cut corners the way BP did,” said Callaway.
BP’s stock value dropped $7 billion dollars after the judge’s ruling was released. BP says it plans to appeal, prolonging the case even more.