British supermajor BP is preparing for the federal civil trial beginning next Monday in the Deepwater Horizon Multi-District Litigation pending in the US District Court for the Eastern District of Louisiana.
This proceeding is the first of at least two phases the Court has set for the trial. The first phase will be focused on the causes of the Deepwater Horizon accident, who should be held responsible, and to what degree. Judge Carl J Barbier will preside over the trial.
“We have always been open to settlements on reasonable terms, failing which we have always been prepared to defend our case at trial. Faced with demands that are excessive and not based on reality or the merits of the case, we are going to trial,” said Rupert Bondy, Group General Counsel of BP. “We have confidence in our case and in the legal team representing the company and defending our interests.”
The Court will ultimately determine the legal and factual issues at the heart of the case, including whether BP or any other party was grossly negligent. BP said it would vigorously defend against gross negligence allegations.
“Gross negligence is a very high bar that BP believes cannot be met in this case,” said Bondy. “This was a tragic accident, resulting from multiple causes and involving multiple parties. We firmly believe we were not grossly negligent.”
February 19, 2013