FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
September 4, 2014
For More Information, contact:
Joy Patterson (334) 242-7491
Alabama Attorney General
Claire Haynes (334) 242-7351
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STATEMENT OF ATTORNEY GENERAL LUTHER STRANGE
Regarding Oil Spill Liability Findings
(MONTGOMERY) – Today marks a giant step forward in addressing the
devastation caused by the 2010 Gulf Oil Spill.
In his order from the first phase of trial, District Judge Carl J. Barbier
confirmed what Alabama has argued all along – that BP’s “reckless” conduct
caused the spill, and that BP’s conduct amounted to “gross negligence” and
This finding has two positive effects for Alabama.
First, BP must pay significantly enhanced civil penalties to the United
States – penalties that will amount to billions of dollars – and Alabama will
receive a portion of these penalties via the Congressional RESTORE Act.
Second, BP may be liable to Alabama for both compensatory and punitive
damages with regard to the State’s economic losses. While Judge Barbier ruled
that BP would not be liable for punitive damages under Fifth Circuit law (the
law which governs trials in New Orleans), he noted that BP would be liable for
punitive damages under the law of other circuits. Armed with this finding,
Alabama is preparing to prosecute its case for compensatory and punitive
damages against BP, a case which we will argue and believe will be heard by a
Montgomery jury beginning in late 2015.
Ensuring that those damaged by the 2010 spill are made whole, while
punishing those who caused that damage, has been my top priority since
taking office. Today’s events in New Orleans bring us closer to achieving our
goal, and I look forward to taking the next steps back here in Alabama.
501 Washington Avenue * Montgomery, AL 36104 * (334) 242-7300