Business World

Friday 15 November 2019

US Supreme Court declines to hear BP appeal

A US judge's watershed ruling means the final cost to UK firm BP for the 2010 Gulf oil spill may eclipse $50bn
A US judge's watershed ruling means the final cost to UK firm BP for the 2010 Gulf oil spill may eclipse $50bn

Lawrence Hurley

The US Supreme Court declined to hear an appeal by a former BP executive who contested whether he can be charged with obstruction of Congress for downplaying the severity of the 2010 Gulf of Mexico oil spill.

Prosecutors say David Rainey misled members of Congress over the amount of oil spilled in the April 2010 Deepwater Horizon incident.

Mr Rainey's legal argument on appeal was that the government missed the deadline to file an appeal after a district court judge dismissed his obstruction charge.

Mr Rainey was also charged with making false statements to law enforcement agents, which was not at issue in his Supreme Court appeal. He has pleaded not guilty.

In June 2014, the 5th US Circuit Court of Appeals in New Orleans said a lower court judge misinterpreted the obstruction statute in dismissing the charge against Mr Rainey.

The April 20, 2010, explosion of the Deepwater Horizon rig led to 11 deaths and the largest US offshore oil spill.

Irish Independent

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