The Court’s conclusions relative to the Phase One trial are summarized below:
611. BP Exploration & Production, Inc. (“BPXP”) is subject to enhanced civil penalties under the Clean Water Act (“CWA”), 33 U.S.C. § 1321(b)(7)(D), as the discharge of oil was the result of BPXP’s gross negligence and BPXP’s willful misconduct.299
612. BP (meaning BPXP and BP America Production Company, but not BP p.l.c.), Transocean (meaning Transocean Holdings LLC, Transocean Deepwater Inc., and Transocean Offshore Deepwater Drilling Inc., but not Transocean Ltd. or Triton Asset Leasing GmbH) and Halliburton (meaning Halliburton Energy Service, Inc. and Halliburton’s Sperry division) are each liable under general maritime law for the blowout, explosion, and oil spill. BP’s conduct was reckless. Transocean’s conduct was negligent. Halliburton’s conduct was negligent. Fault is apportioned as follows:
BP: 67% Transocean: 30% Halliburton: 3%
613. Although BP’s conduct warrants the imposition punitive damages under general maritime law, BP cannot be held liable for such damages under Fifth Circuit precedent.300
614. BP p.l.c., Transocean Ltd., and Triton Asset Leasing GmbH are not liable under general maritime law. Triton Asset Leasing GmbH’s Rule 52(c) Motion for Judgment on Partial Findings301 is GRANTED.
615. Transocean’s and Halliburton’s indemnity and release clauses in their respective contracts with BP are valid and enforceable against BP.
616. Transocean Holdings LLC, Transocean Deepwater Inc., and Transocean Offshore Deepwater Drilling Inc. are not entitled to limit liability under the Limitation of Liability Act.
617. A violation of 30 C.F.R. § 250.420(a)(2) can remove OPA’s liability cap. The Court’s prior holding to the contrary is REVERSED.302
618. Transocean (meaning Transocean Holdings LLC, Transocean Deepwater Inc., and Transocean Offshore Deepwater Drilling Inc., but not Transocean Ltd. or Triton Asset Leasing GmbH) was an “operator” of an “Outer Continental Shelf facility” under the Oil Pollution Act of 1990, 33 U.S.C. § 2704(c). Consequently, Transocean is liable to the United States for removal costs.
–Read entire document: 9042014FindingsofFactandConclusionsofLaw