Oil spill judge: What is gross negligence?
NEW ORLEANS - The judge who will allocate responsibility for the 2010 Gulf of Mexico oil spill has told lawyers to give him their views about whether a series of negligent acts can add up to gross negligence.
The Justice Department and private plaintiffs' attorneys contend that BP PLC acted with gross negligence before the blowout on April 20, 2010. If Judge Carl Barbier agrees, BP's civil penalties could soar.
Barbier set June 21 as the deadline for post-trial briefs, listing six questions about gross negligence that he wants answered. Lawyers must also submit proposed findings and conclusions then.
The response deadline is July 12.
Barbier's questions include whether gross negligence must be traced to at least one act or can be based on "an accumulation or a series of negligent acts or omissions."
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