Thursday, September 6, 2012

BP Still Under Fire Two Years Later

Another good reason to prevent crises reared its ugly head in recent days.

The United States Department of Justice has accused BP Oil Company of corporate recklessness and gross negligence for its part in the 2010 Gulf oil disaster.

You've seen the TV commercials touting how the Gulf region has recovered and what a great place it is to vacation.  But in a federal court filing last week federal prosecutors urged the Federal Court in Louisiana to ignore BP's claim the region is "undergoing a robust recovery."

Federal prosecutors said some of BP's earlier court documents were "plainly misleading."

Transocean, the actual owner and operator of the oil rig that exploded, was also accused of gross negligence by the feds.  "BP did not act alone, by any means, and its gross negligence and willful misconduct are inextricably joined with the acts and omissions of Transocean."

Beyond the reputation and public perception of the two companies, the latest dust up in federal court is all about money -- billions of dollars of real money.

BP has already settled with lawyers representing some victims of the spill, but if the latest allegations stand up in court, BP could be facing as much as another $21-billion in damages in addition to compensatory and punitive damages.

BP boldly disputes the allegations of gross negligence and says it is looking forward to presenting its own evidence at trial in January of next year.

If you think, for a minute, that something like this could never happen to your business, think again.

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