The one-year anniversary of the Macondo well blowout marked the deadline for filing civil litigation. BP met the statute of limitations by suing Transocean for more than $40 billion in damages. BP already has similar claims pending against former well partners Anadarko and Mitsui. All three companies are countersuing.
BP is also filing claims against cement contractor Halliburton and blowout preventer manufacturer Cameron International — alleging negligence and, in the case of Halliburton, fraud.
David Logan is dean of Roger Williams University Law School.
“This just sort of adds a degree of difficulty to what’s already a distinctly complicated series of civil claims, against the backdrop of potential criminal actions, against the backdrop of potential civil fines, and against the backdrop of the Gulf Coast compensation fund. This will be, in some respects, the most complex litigation that’s ever taken place in the United States.”
Logan notes that the only precedent for the case, the Exxon Valdez spill, involved a single company and took more than 20 years to settle.