BP wants review of spill negligence ruling

British oil giant BP asked a federal court to review its ruling that the company showed “gross negligence” related to a major Gulf of Mexico oil spill in 2010.

BP argued that U.S. District Court Judge Carl Barbier relied on expert testimony that he said he would exclude for the early September ruling, Bloomberg News reported.


The ruling in the ongoing fight over damages from the 2010 Deepwater Horizon spill exposed BP to the possibility of facing fines of up to $18 million. The judge scheduled a January hearing to determine the amount of the fine.

The company wants Barbier to grant a new trial or change the ruling.

In the Thursday filing, BP said Barbier relied on testimony last year by a witness hired by Halliburton Co., another contractor on the Deepwater Horizon rig that had fought over responsibility for the disaster, Bloomberg said.

BP told the court that the Halliburton witness put forth a theory that the spill was caused by a breached casing.

But BP’s lawyers did not have an opportunity to argue against that theory because they believed that the testimony had been excluded.

“BP reasonably believed that the casing-breach theory was not a live issue at trial,” it wrote in the filing, according to Bloomberg.