Judge Finds BP Primarily Responsible for Oil Spill

Jan 27, 2012

A federal judge in New Orleans has ruled BP is primarily responsible for damage caused by the oil spill in 2010. But, Eileen Fleming reports, the owner of the drilling rig that blew up could still have to pay punitive damages and civil penalties.

BP and Deepwater Horizon rig owner Transocean have been battling over which company was at fault for the blowout that spewed more than 200 million gallons of oil into the Gulf of Mexico. Cement contractor Halliburton is also being faulted by the Justice Department for its role in the disaster. The judge says the drilling contract holds BP liable for pollution from the well, and Transocean for accidents and spills involving the rig. The Justice Department is negotiating with states affected by the spill to settle damage claims. A trial is set to begin next month in New Orleans to determine liability for the spill.