Last Tuesday, Anthony Badalamenti became the first person to enter a plea of guilty for crimes associated with the 2010 Deepwater Horizon rig explosion that killed 11 workers and led to the most devastating offshore oil spill in petroleum history. Badalamenti, technology director for Halliburton Energy Services, Inc. at the Deepwater Horizon oil rig, was charged with destroying key evidence that shielded Badalamenti, his former employer, and other companies involved from potentially billions of dollars of blame. Despite damage estimates that currently exceed $40 billion and the substantial loss of life in this explosion, Badalamenti's guilty plea can only amount to a maximum sentence of 1 year in prison and a $100,000 fine.
According to an article from the Houston Chronicle, a federal judge has approved a deal that allows BP to plead guilty to manslaughter and other criminal charges as a result of the 2010 Deepwater Horizon explosion. BP has agreed to a $4 billion fine, probation and independent monitoring. U.S. District Judge Sarah Vance's decision came during an emotional hearing in New Orleans and was issued over the objections of victims of the disaster and relatives of some of the 11 workers who were killed on the Deepwater Horizon drilling rig. "The government has caught the bank robber and cut a deal with the criminals for return of the money and left the people shot in the bank robbery to fend for themselves," said rig survivor Buddy Trahan, who suffered extensive injuries in the blast but hasn't been compensated by BP. Trahan was among eight victims of the disaster, including the widows and fathers of some of the rig workers who were killed and people who were affected by the spill, who spoke of how BP's negligence changed their lives.
According to the Houston Chronicle, after 2 1/2 years since the deep-water Macondo well blew out in the Gulf of Mexico, oil giant BP faced a U.S. judge Tuesday as it answered to manslaughter and other criminal charges. At a brief arraignment hearing before a federal judge, BP lawyer Mark Filip said the company's board had authorized him to enter a not guilty plea as a procedural matter, but the firm still intends to plead guilty at a later date. BP has agreed to pay $4.5 billion to settle the criminal charges and related Securities and Exchange Commission charges.
According to a recent article on fuelfix.com, BP has agreed to pay over $4 billion to the U.S. government to resolve all criminal claims stemming from the 2010 Gulf of Mexico rig explosion and oil spill. It is by far the largest criminal penalty in American history. Additionally, at least three BP workers were expected to face criminal charges in connection with the disaster and its aftermath. A criminal complaint filed by the Justice Department singled out two BP well-site leaders for the failure of a pressure test on BP's blown-out well, and a BP executive for providing government officials with flow estimates that were lower than what the company actually knew at the time. The complaint itself charged BP with seaman's manslaughter and other counts, but did not specify charges against individuals.