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A British Petroleum (BP) sign is seen at a petrol station in south London July 29, 2008. REUTERS/Dylan Martinez (BRITAIN) - RTX87R7

BP announces immediate appeal of gross negligence ruling

Marissa Hall | Shale Plays Media

BP has published a press release stating the company’s official stance on the verdict issued by the United States District Court for the Eastern District of Louisiana. The statement voices BP’s strong disagreement with the decision, which found it guilty of gross negligence during the events of the Deepwater Horizon disaster in 2010.

The company will be filing an appeal to the decision in the immediate future. According to the press release:

BP believes that the finding that it was grossly negligent with respect to the accident and that its activities at the Macondo well amounted to willful misconduct is not supported by the evidence at trial.  The law is clear that proving gross negligence is a very high bar that was not met in this case.  BP believes that an impartial view of the record does not support the erroneous conclusion reached by the District Court.

The press release also gives a brief summary of the proceedings to follow. While U.S. District Judge Carl Barbier has ruled BP was at fault, decisions on precisely how many barrels of oil and an appropriate fine per barrel have yet to be determined.

The company could end up paying as much as $4,300 for each barrel spilled, the statutory maximum penalty for gross negligence under the Clean Water Act, a massive jump from $1,100 per barrel if BP had only been found guilty of simple negligence.

Check out the full press release here.

Related: Judge: BP’s reckless conduct caused Gulf oil spill

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