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Deepwater Horizon - some observations oProfessor Erik Røsæg oScandinavian Institute of Maritime Law ofolk.uio.no/erikro.

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Presentation on theme: "Deepwater Horizon - some observations oProfessor Erik Røsæg oScandinavian Institute of Maritime Law ofolk.uio.no/erikro."— Presentation transcript:

1 Deepwater Horizon - some observations oProfessor Erik Røsæg oScandinavian Institute of Maritime Law ofolk.uio.no/erikro

2 The parties oBP – operator oTransocean – owner of rig oHalliburton – cement contractor oCameron - owner of blow-out preventer 2

3 Criminal and administrative penalties oNegligent pollution is an offence oClean Water Act 33 USC 26 III33 USC 26 III oWhich negligence standard? 3

4 Civil liability and limitation oOPA= 33 USC 40 I; CWA = 33 USC 26 III33 USC 40 I33 USC 26 III oStrict statutory liability to USCG oTorts oStrict liability oTransOcean not responsible for spills directly from the well (after average)? oFeinberg fund oSecure claims oMore liberal than courts oRequires settlement with BP oUSD 20 bn; 3 bn actually paid in oOil Spill Liability Trust Fund (26 USC I 98 A)26 USC I 98 A 4

5 Limitation oSeparate limits for USCG oTransocean has filed for limitation for death/personal injuries (46 USC App 8; Jones Act = 46 USC III § 30104)46 USC App 846 USC III § oNo other filings for limitation at this stage oBreaking of limits – violated federal safety regulations oPersonal injuries: Value of vessel after incident + pending freight oUSD 75 mill oUSD 26.8 mill paid to Transocean from hull insurers oAdverse publicity oOPA limits (33 USC 40 I § 2704)33 USC 40 I § 2704 oReform proposals 5

6 The problem of frivolous claims o“Spillionaires” o“Vessels of opportunity” oIce to vessel engaged in skimming 6

7 Claims – principles oHadley v Baxendale – remoteness (156 E.R. 145; (1854) 9 Ex. 341) oRobins Drydock & Repair Co. v. Flint – proprietary interest (275 U.S. 303) oOPA loss of profits recoverable if “due to …” (33 USC 40 I § 2702)33 USC 40 I § 2702 oJones Act –potential dependents (wife of deceased 9 months pregnant) oMitigation oIgnorance of law – TV ads, billboards etc oRetroactive law reforms? 7

8 8 Claims – natural resources oNatural resources oRestoring (how to clean the wetlands?) oLoss of use oAlternative amenities oLong term ecological effects (cp. herring not returned to Prince Williams Sound) oPossible oil at sea bottom

9 Claims – public bodies oLoss of taxes oUse of public servants (firemen etc) 9

10 Claims - other oMoratorium of drilling – loss of other oil companies oLoss of ‘way of life’ oIndochinese refugees oDecrease in bikini waxing oStrip clubs in the town of Hummer 10

11 Direct action against insurers in Louisiana oBP insurance strategy (1993) 6 JACF 3, 4-15 (1993) 6 JACF 3, 4-15 oAccident in Louisiana oInternational waters oEEZ irrelevant oPolicy entered into or delivered in Louisiana (La RS 22:1269)La RS 22:

12 Recourse oKnock for knock oWillful misconduct or gross negligence 12

13 Removal organization oPreident – USCG – on scene coorinator (local czar) oJones Act – cabotage exception (46 USC V D § 55113)46 USC V D § oRole of BP 13

14 Procedure oMulti-district litigation panel oConsolidated in New Orleans 14


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