Dean David Logan explains the task facing the court in determining fault and potential fines, as the second phase of the Gulf oil spill case against BP begins.
From the New Orleans Times-Picayune: "BP oil spill trial's second phase, starting Monday, will play key role in deciding massive fines" by Mark Schleifstein, NOLA.com
Sept. 30, 2013: Dozens of lawyers return to a federal courtroom in New Orleans on Monday to begin a month-long argument over whether BP's efforts to stem the 87-day flow of oil from its April 2010 Macondo well blowout were adequate and how much oil was released.
The trial will help determine BP's Clean Water Act fines [...]
On Monday, U.S. District Judge Carl Barbier will be presented with conflicting testimony over BP's success at "source control," the halting of the flow of oil from the well after the blowout. The parties are expected to present testimony about that issue for a week. That will be followed by three weeks focused on "quantification" - determining how much oil was released into the Gulf during the spill.
Barbier will then decide, likely next year, how many billion of dollars BP owes in fines.
"We're asking a judge who's a lawyer to make decisions based on an incredible amount of technical and environmental engineering material that some of the best experts on those subjects in the world can't agree upon," said David Logan, dean of the Roger Williams Law School in Rhode Island. "It's the job of the lawyers to use their experts to educate the judge in support of their conclusions." [...]
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