Transocean Ordered to Pay Up for Role in the Gulf Oil Spill

January 4, 2013  |  Environmental

Last November, BP Oil Company reached an agreement with the U.S Justice Department over the company’s criminal charges in connection with the 2010 Deepwater Horizon Oil Spill and subsequent damage to the Gulf Coast.  As part of the settlement, the oil company pled guilty to 11 felony counts of manslaughter, one misdemeanor charge under the Clean Air Act and one misdemeanor charge under the Migratory Birds Act.  BP was also ordered to pay more than $8 billion in criminal fines: the largest in U.S history. 

As the tragedy of the Gulf Oil Spill has been documented, BP has become synonymous with the financial and environmental wreckage that the spill has caused.  But BP is not the only company that the U.S Justice Department has charged in connection to the Deepwater Horizon explosion and resulting oil spill.

Yesterday, the Justice Department announced that offshore drilling firm Transocean will pay $1.4 billion in penalties and fines for their part in the Gulf Oil Spill. The Justice Department found the drilling firm responsible for the 2010 explosion and the resulting damage.

BP hired the drilling firm to lease the rig and provide a staff for the Deepwater Horizon.  While in court, the government recognized that BP was not solely to blame, and that Transocean exhibited gross negligence and willful misconduct that resulted in the spill.

According to the settlement, Transocean subsidiary Transocean Deepwater Inc. has pled guilty to one misdemeanor charge under the Clean Water Act in addition to the fines and penalties determined in the settlement.  The drilling firm released a statement claiming that these agreements are in the best interests of its shareholders and employees as they remove much uncertainty that is linked to the incident. 

This is only the latest legal development that has resulted from the 2010 oil spill, the worst in maritime history.

The law firm of Baron and Budd served on one of the highest leadership committees throughout the initial litigation against BP and continues to represent clients that suffered damages from the oil spill today. The firm will continue to monitor and report on the legal proceedings surrounding the oil spill. 
If you or your business has been negatively impacted by the Gulf oil spill, the attorneys at Baron and Budd are here for you.

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