BP opts for Deepwater trial, refusing a $16bn settlement deal with DoJ.

Guardian: “The US Justice Department and BP were engaged Sunday in efforts to forge a last-minute deal to avert a trial over 2010’s deadly Deepwater Horizon disaster, set to begin in New Orleans on Monday.”” Over the weekend it was reported that the Justice Department and Gulf states were prepared to offer BP a $16bn deal to settle civil claims related to the fatal oil rig fire that cost 11 lives and triggered the largest oil spill in US history. …..Lawyers for the justice department are seeking to prove BP was “grossly negligent” ….Last year the US argued in a court filing that BP had a “culture of corporate recklessness” and had acted with “gross negligence or willful misconduct”. The maximum civil penalty possible under the clean water act rises from $1,100 per barrel spilled through ordinary negligence to $4,300 per barrel if gross negligence is proved. BP’s bill could be as low as $5bn or as high as $17.5bn depending on how the court rules. ….The oil firm then faces a second trial in September to establish the number of barrels of oil spilled that will be used to assess the size of fines.”