BP to Pay Largest Criminal Fine in U.S. History for Deepwater Horizon Accident and Oil Spill

November 29, 2012  |  Environmental

Earlier this month, BP Oil Company and the U.S. government released a statement announcing that it has come to an agreement on all criminal charges against BP. The Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) had filed criminal charges against the oil company concerning the Deepwater Horizon accident, oil spill and the company’s response that followed.

In the agreement, 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.

Under the resolution, 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.

The agreement between BP and the U.S. government 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.

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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