Mt. Vernon Register-News

Top News

January 3, 2013

Feds, Transocean reach $1.4B deal over Gulf spill

(Continued)

NEW ORLEANS —

Transocean previously announced it had reserved $2 billion for paying claims related to the Deepwater Horizon disaster.

David Uhlmann, a University of Michigan law professor and former chief of the Justice Department's environmental crimes section, said the $1 billion civil penalty is a record amount for an environmental case. But he expressed surprise that Transocean isn't paying more in criminal penalties or facing manslaughter charges of its own.

"The Justice Department clearly views BP as the most culpable party in the criminal cases," Uhlmann said. "But Transocean's negligence also is responsible for the workers' deaths and the spill."

Transocean also said in a September regulatory filing that it had rejected settlement offers last year from BP and a group of attorneys for Gulf Coast residents and businesses who blame the spill for economic damages. Those claims are still pending.

Last month, U.S. District Judge Carl Barbier in New Orleans gave final approval to a class-action settlement agreement between BP and a team of private plaintiffs' attorneys. BP estimates it will pay about $7.8 billion to resolve these claims, but the settlement isn't capped.

Barbier also is set to preside over a trial designed to identify the causes of BP's deadly well blowout and assign percentages of fault to the companies involved. The first phase of the trial is scheduled to start Feb. 25.

BP reported profits of more than $25 billion in 2011, but for Transocean the year resulted in a loss of about $5.7 billion, some of it attributed to contingencies for litigation resulting from the sinking of the Deepwater Horizon.

A series of government investigations has spread out the blame for the nation's worst offshore oil spill among BP, Transocean and other partners on the project, including cementing contractor Halliburton.

Halliburton hasn't settled with the Justice Department, BP or Transocean.

Text Only
Top News
  • Police chief resigns over racial slur repost to Facebook

    A repost on his personal Facebook page of a racially-charged comment by the original poster of a comedy video has forced the police chief of an Oklahoma city to resign his office.

    August 21, 2014

  • Who should pay for your kids ACT?

    Thirteen states paid for 11th-grade students in all public high schools to take the ACT college admission test this year, with several more planning to join them in 2015.

    August 20, 2014

  • Ice bucket challenge trending up

    Internet trends are a dime a dozen these days. Everything from Tebowing to planking to the cinnamon challenge can cause a wave of social media activity that can last for weeks before fizzling out.

    August 19, 2014

  • Pathologist: Brown may have had his hands raised

    FERGUSON, Mo. (AP) — An unarmed 18-year-old whose fatal shooting by police has sparked a week of protests in suburban St. Louis suffered a bullet wound to his right arm that may indicate his hands were up or his back was turned, a pathologist hired by his family said Monday.

    August 18, 2014

  • Police identify officer, allege teen robbed store

    FERGUSON, Mo. (AP) — Police on Friday identified the officer who fatally shot an unarmed black teenager and released documents alleging the young man had been suspected of stealing a $48.99 box of cigars from a convenience store in a "strong-arm" robbery shortly before he was killed.

    August 15, 2014

  • A night in Ferguson

    For the past week in Ferguson, reporters have been using the McDonald's a few blocks from the scene of Michael Brown's shooting as a staging area. Demonstrations have blown up each night nearby.

    August 14, 2014

  • congressionaldemographics.jpg Most Republican House districts are majority-white

    Significant numbers of conservatives, and white Americans in general, admit to feeling discomfort at the prospect of a non-majority white America. These views are even stronger among Tea Party-aligned conservatives.

    August 13, 2014 1 Photo

  • unrest.jpg Why the Ferguson police-shooting riots had little to do with Ferguson

    Riots and vandalism broke out in the St. Louis suburb of Ferguson. An 18-year-old black man named Michael Brown was fatally shot by police there. Brown was unarmed. It's still unclear why tensions boiled over.

    August 12, 2014 1 Photo

  • Robin Williams, manic comedy star, dead at 63

    SAN FRANCISCO (AP) — Robin Williams, the Academy Award winner and comic supernova whose explosions of pop culture riffs and impressions dazzled audiences for decades and made him a gleamy-eyed laureate for the Information Age, died Monday in an apparent suicide. He was 63.

    August 11, 2014

  • Walmart.jpg Welcome to Wal-Mart, the doctor will see you now

    As its retail business matures into slower growth, Wal-Mart Stores wants to disrupt another mass market: health care.

    August 8, 2014 1 Photo