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Feds to pursue gross negligence claims in BP oil spill case

The Department of Justice’s charges could stall a proposed $7.8 billion settlement with victims

After winning preliminary court approval in May, it seemed as though British Petroleum’s (BP) proposed $7.8 billion settlement with victims of the 2010 Deepwater Horizon oil spill would be finalized. That is, until the Department of Justice (DOJ) stepped in.

In court documents filed Tuesday, the DOJ accused the oil giant of gross negligence and willful misconduct, which could result in penalties of up to $21 billion if the company is found guilty. The agency’s decision may reduce the chances that the previously proposed settlement will win court approval.

Alanna Byrne

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