Originally published on Tue February 19, 2013 11:10 am
A federal judge in New Orleans has approved a $1 billion civil settlement over its role in the Gulf of Mexico oil spill where 11 men died in April of 2010, the AP reports.
As we reported back in January, federal authorities blamed Transocean "for acting negligently when the rig's crew proceeded with maneuvers to the deep-sea well in the face of clear danger signals that oil and natural gas were flowing."
A federal judge in New Orleans has scheduled a Feb. 14 hearing to decide whether to accept the Justice Department's criminal settlement with Transocean Ltd. over the company's role in the massive 2010 oil spill in the Gulf of Mexico.
Transocean, which owned the rig that sank after an explosion killed 11 workers and spawned the spill, agreed last Thursday to pay $400 million in criminal penalties and plead guilty to a misdemeanor charge of violating the Clean Water Act. The Switzerland-based company also agreed to pay $1 billion in civil penalties.
Massive settlements may be evidence of new legal precedent.
A federal judge will be asked to approve a proposed $1.4 billion settlement linked to the BP oil spill in 2010. Rig owner Transocean has reached a deal with the Department of Justice that appears to be creating legal precedent.
Transocean, the owner of the Deepwater Horizon rig where 11 men died in April 2010, has agreed to pay $1.4 billion in criminal and civil penalties to resolve Justice Department allegations over its role in the Gulf of Mexico oil spill.
Transocean Ltd. and the Justice Department have discussed a $1.5 billion settlement that would resolve federal civil and criminal claims against the company over its role in the deadly 2010 rig explosion that spawned the nation's worst offshore oil spill.
But Switzerland-based Transocean Ltd. said in a regulatory filing Monday that a "number of issues," including the possible time period for payment, must be resolved before a deal can be completed.
A Justice Department spokesman declined to comment.
BP has won a ruling that bars some references to earlier accidents from a trial over its 2010 oil spill in the Gulf of Mexico. The federal judge hearing the case feared opening a “trial within a trial.”
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.