According to Reuters, the Department of Justice is investigating whether to file manslaughter charges against BP managers for decisions they made leading up to the explosion of the Deepwater Horizon.
Beyond these possible criminal charges, what is at stake for the company is the likelihood of BP being found “grossly negligent.”
Should these charges occur, the possibility of such a determination would increase dramatically, and so would the fine, from $5 billion to as high as $21 billion dollars for the oil spill. It would reduce BP’s chances of getting their partners on the well to share in cleanup costs and also open the doors for more litigation on behalf of Gulf Coast residents for damages.
BP’s British Petroleum has been pushing hard to share the blame throughout the investigations, including an investigation of their own which found both Transocean and Halliburton culpable in the blast that claimed eleven lives and spilled the oil across the Gulf Coast.
To put all this in terms Bob Dudley might understand, it’ll wind up costing a lot, a lot lot and as a result, British Petroleum shares fell two dollars today.
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