Lawyers are gathering in New Orleans for the first part of a civil trial over BP’s oil spill three years ago in the Gulf of Mexico. A federal judge will decide what caused the explosion and fire that killed 11 workers.
The judge will determine if BPs’ actions before the disaster amount to gross negligence. That finding could cost the oil company tens of billions of dollars.
Drill owner Transocean will also be on trial, as will Cameron, the company that made the failed blow-out preventer.
The Justice Department will argue that BP acted recklessly with safety procedures. The first phase of the case could last three months. The second phase, set for later this year, will determine exactly how much oil leaked, and how much the fine should be.