News from the Deepwater Horizon Multidistrict Litigation
BP tried and failed to get a piece of Transocean's $750M insurance coverage: Order(InsuranceActions).pdf Note the language from the Drilling Contract at p. 40:
Article 24 of the Drilling Contract allocates responsibility for pollution risks between the
“Contractor” (Transocean) and the “Company” (BP):
24.1 Contractor Responsibility
[Transocean] shall assume full responsibility for and shall protect, release, defend,indemnify, and hold [BP] and its joint owners harmless from and against any loss, damage, expense, claim, fine, penalty, demand, or liability for pollution or ontamination, including control and removal thereof, originating on or above the surface of the land or water, from spills, leaks, or discharges of fuels . . . or any other liquid or solid whatsoever in possession and control of [Transocean] and without regard to negligence of any party or parties . . . . [Emphasis added.]
* * *
24.2 Company Responsibility
[BP] shall assume full responsibility for and shall protect, release, defend, indemnify, and hold [Transocean] harmless from and against any loss, damage, expense, claim, fine, penalty, demand, or liability for pollution or contamination, including control and removal thereof, arising out of or connected with operations under this contract
hereunder and not assumed by [Transocean] in Article 24.1 above, without regard for negligence of any party or parties . . . .
Rec. Doc. 3211-6, at 11-12.
There are cross motions for partial summary judgment (essentially re liability) betwixt BR and Transocean awaiting decision: MinuteEntry.pdf (p.3)
The Court heard oral argument on Transocean’s Motion for Partial Summary Judgment against BP to Enforce BP’s Contractual Obligations (Rec. Doc. 4477) and BP’s Cross-Motion for Summary Judgment against Transocean (Rec. Doc. 4827). John Elsely argued on behalf of Transocean. Andy Langan argued on behalf BP. Steve O’Rourke argued on behalf of the United States. The Motions (Rec. Docs. 4477 and 4827) were taken UNDER ADVISEMENT.
According to news reports, BP hopes to evade the Drilling Contract language by claiming "gross negligence" on the part of Transocean. Good luck with that. Article 24 (supra) says "any loss .... " Should have a decision soon. The liability trial is set to start on February 27, with damages to be tried in July. OilSpill/Orders/PTO32.pdf
BP is represented by Kirkland and Ellis. Transocean went with a Texas firm, Royston Rayzor. Heavy hitters, to say the least.