Friday, May 28, 2010

Transocean Can’t Cap Spill Liability Using Old Law, Lawyers Say

The below article is interesting. Transocean the owner of the rig is attempting to limit its liability to the value of the Deepwater Horizon after it sank to the bottom of the Gulf. The lawyers for the claimants are arguing that all the Transocean rigs are working as a "floatilla" and thus Transocean would have to post a bond for the value of 138 rigs or 23 Billion dollars. That could get very expensive for Transocean.

May 26 (Bloomberg) -- Transocean Ltd. can’t use a 150-year- old statute to cap its liability against claims arising from the Gulf of Mexico oil spill, lawyers for victims of the disaster said at a hearing in federal court in Houston. The Oil Pollution Act of 1990, passed after the 1989 Exxon Valdez oil spill in Alaska, supersedes the older law in this situation, attorneys for the Louisiana Environmental Action Network and the United Commercial Fisherman’s Association said in court papers, citing earlier decisions. Even under the old law, the negligence of BP and Transocean would make it inapplicable, plaintiffs’ lawyer Kurt Arnold told U.S. District Judge Keith P. Ellison.

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