The Law Firm of Baron and Budd Reports That BP Oil Company Has Plead Guilty to 14 Criminal Charges in Gulf Coast Oil Spill Case

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Baron and Budd Attorneys Continue to Remain Involved in Litigation Surrounding the Gulf Oil Spill

The water attorneys at Baron and Budd are pleased to report that earlier this month, BP Oil Company and the U.S. government announced that they have come to an agreement over the criminal charges against BP. The Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) filed criminal charges against the oil company over the Deepwater Horizon disaster, oil spill and the subsequent actions that followed. (United States v. BP Exploration and Production, Eastern District of Louisiana, 2:10-cv-04536, plea entered 11/15/12).

Baron and Budd worked on the leadership committee in the litigation against BP and are pleased with the agreement that has been reached. (MDL 2179 In re: Oil Spill by the Oil Rig "Deepwater Horizon" in Gulf of Mexico on April 20, 2010, Eastern District of Louisiana)

According to court documents, BP agreed to pay $4 billion in criminal claims over a five-year period, $525 million in security claims over a three-year period and will raise charge-against-income by an estimated $3.85 billion. The oil company states that they plan on vigorously defending itself against any remaining claims regarding the oil spill. BP also agreed to a five-year probationary operating term. (Source: New York Times.)

According to court documents, BP has plead guilty to 11 felony counts of manslaughter for neglect of ships officers relating to the loss of 11 lives; one misdemeanor charge under the Migratory Birds Act; one misdemeanor charge under the Clean Water Act; and one felony charge of obstruction of Congress.

The resolution, however, does not resolve the continuing civil claims being made against the company regarding the Clean Water Act and the oil barrels that were released from the well; any claims of economic loss suffered by the Gulf Coast states under the Oil Pollution Act; claims of individuals who did not participate in the economic class action; and any natural resource damage claims made by the U.S. or Gulf Coast states. (MDL 2179 In re: Oil Spill by the Oil Rig "Deepwater Horizon" in Gulf of Mexico on April 20, 2010, Eastern District of Louisiana)

The agreement between BP and the U.S. government, according to court documents, effectively eliminates any possible future criminal charges that could be filed against the company. The resolution involves multiple terms that BP must comply with, including the appointment of two monitors for a period of no less than four year. Since the oil spill, BP has been ordered to pay more than $9 billion to individuals, businesses and government entities that have been negatively affected.

Businesses and individuals that suffered from the oil spill are still able to file claims against BP through the economic class action settlement until Spring 2014. Baron and Budd served on one of the highest leadership committees during the initial litigation involving all oil claims against BP. The firm is proud of their role in helping hundreds of thousands of individuals and businesses be compensated for their suffering. (MDL 2179 In re: Oil Spill by the Oil Rig "Deepwater Horizon" in Gulf of Mexico on April 20, 2010, Eastern District of Louisiana)

The national plaintiffs’ law firm still continues to represent clients that suffered damages from the oil spill today. If you or your business has been negatively impacted by the Gulf oil spill, the attorneys at Baron and Budd are here for you.

To learn more about Baron and Budd and to find out if you have a possible claim, call 1.866.844.4556 or contact us here.

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Amanda Theaker
Baron & Budd
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