BP Oil Spill Trial Begins

By: Associated Press
By: Associated Press

UPDATE 3:30 P.M.

NEW ORLEANS (AP) -- A BP lawyer says other companies that worked on the ill-fated Deepwater Horizon drilling project made crucial mistakes that led to the deaths of 11 workers and the massive 2010 Gulf oil spill.

BP attorney Mike Brock acknowledged during his opening statements Monday for a high-stakes trial that the London-based company also made mistakes and "errors in judgment" before its Macondo well blew out.

But Brock accused Deepwater Horizon owner Transocean Ltd. of failing to properly maintain the rig's blowout preventer and claimed cement contractor Halliburton used a "bad slurry" that caused the well to flow before the blowout.

U.S. District Judge Carl Barbier is hearing the case without a jury. Barring a settlement, he will decide months from now how much more money the companies must pay.

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NEW ORLEANS (AP) -- The high-stakes Gulf oil spill trial has started with a lawyer criticizing BP by saying company executives put enormous pressure on drilling managers to cut costs and rush the job.

Jim Roy is an attorney for individuals and businesses affected by the spill. He says BP repeatedly chose speed over safety.

The federal government and attorneys for a couple of Gulf coast states are also expected to make opening statements Monday. BP is also expected to present its side.

The trial is designed to assign blame and help figure out exactly how much more BP and other companies should pay for the nation's worst offshore oil spill.


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