The civil trial against BP over their role in the 2010 Gulf of Mexico oil spill disaster started today. The explosion aboard the Deepwater Horizon drilling rig killed 11 men and caused millions of gallons of oil to flow into the Gulf unimpeded for days. A last minute deal between the US Justice Department and BP to avert a trial apparently fell apart on Sunday, February 24. 

The attorney representing the US Department of Justice alleged in opening remarks that BP knew drilling at the well was dangerous. They called it the “well from hell” in emails, and said workers aboard the drilling rig were working in an atmosphere of “chaos, paranoia, and insanity” all so that BP could pay its shareholders a $7 billion dividend. Cutting corners allegedly saved the company $1 million a day. In addition, the attorney said the tragedy could have been avoided by a ten second phone call or a 30 second walk to see the tool pusher. He also stated BP will attempt to blame others, such as Halliburton, who made the drilling mud that failed to seal the well.

Another attorney representing businesses and individuals stated the evidence will show BP’s culture was one of profits over safety, cost cutting, and taking extreme risks while ignoring the outcome of failure. He said Deepwater Horizon was unseaworthy and should have been headed toward a shipyard for repairs. He blames Transocean, who owned the rig, knew about this, but let the rig operated anyway in violation of its own safety measures.

There is no end in sight for the damage caused to the Gulf’s environment. Tar balls continue to wash up on Alabama beaches, and around 200 miles of Louisiana coastline is still fouled with oil. However, there are 11 families who are without loved ones as a result of alleged negligence, which occured at the highest levels of a major multinational corporation. BP is on the hook for billions of dollars, but there are many families who don’t feel this is punishment enough. It’s an unfortunate fact that when someone is killed through another party’s negligence, filing a wrongful death suit is one of the only ways to get the justice these families deserve.

If you have lost a loved one through the negligence of another person or party and want to file a wrongful death claim, please contact Robert W. Kerpsack CO, L.P.A. today. Mr. Kerpsack serves clients in the Dublin, Columbus, and New Albany, Ohio area, as well as the entire state of Ohio.