BP says it’s prepared to defend itself vigorously against allegations of gross negligence in the U.S.’s biggest environmental disaster.
Rupert Bondy, group general counsel for BP, said in a statement that settlement demands were “not based on reality or the merits of the case.”
The trial is designed to identify the causes of BP’s well blowout in the disaster that killed 11 workers. Jeff Rensberger teaches civil procedure at South Texas College of Law.
“This doesn’t decide the liability issues at issues at this point but does decide, regardless of the images, who is responsible. So this is kind of the critical point in the litigation, and it may well be that, after this, results in a settlement one way or the other, depending on how this goes.”
Billions of dollars are at stake in the trial set to begin Monday in New Orleans. BP has already agreed to a $4.5 billion settlement of federal criminal charges.