BP OIL STRIKES DEAL FOR PLEADING GUILTY TO 11 COUNTS OF MANSLAUGHTER
Recently, Russia Today reported that two employees of BP have been indicted for their involvement in the infamous BP oil spill that left 11 workers dead back in 2010. In addition, BP will fork over $4.3 billion to the U.S., which includes $1.3 billion in criminal fees. This settlement marks the largest criminal penalty fee to ever be paid by a corporation in the history of the U.S. (Pfizer comes in second, who was penalized for $1.2 billion in 2009).
In return for the pleading guilty and admitting guilt for obstructing Congress, BP reportedly made a deal to be cleared from any future persecution in relation to the oil spill.
On April 20, 2010, an explosion at the BP-managed Deepwater Horizon rig not only killed 11 workers but also became the largest oil spill that polluted the Gulf of Mexico with 4.9 million barrels of crude oil. The second largest spill was the Exxon Valdez spill in 1989 when 750,000 barrels of oil polluted the Prince William Sound in Alaska.
The U.S. Justice Department recently filed pretrial papers in hopes of charging BP with with “reckless management” of their Macondo well. A civil trial is to commence in early 2013 and the federal government has yet to issue any criminal charges. A Justice Department attorney had this to say about BP:
“We do not use words like ‘gross negligence’ and ‘willful misconduct’ lightly, but the fact remains that people died, many suffered injuries to their livelihood, and the Gulf’s complex ecosystem was harmed as a result of BP and Transocean’s bad acts or omissions.
Although BP’s deal is set to relieve them of any future charges, the civil charges that have already been brought up by the Justice Department will remain intact. Many more companies, local governments, banks have made claims and are seeking compensation (none which are covered by the deal struck today with private attorneys). BP has offered to settle these private claims with an additional estimate of $7.8 billion which includes over 100,000 individuals and businesses.
What do you think? Should BP be relieved from any future persecution in relation to the 2010 oil spill?