NEW ORLEANS, La. (WPMI) The civil trial against BP following the 2010 oil spill is underway in a federal courtroom. Tuesday, two expert witnesses took the stand, a current BP executive and a former BP consultant and engineering professor.
That consultant, Robert Bea, sued the company after he said their cost cutting measures led to the disaster. He said quote: It is "tragic" and "egregious" that BP didn't apply its own safety program.
Transocean, Haliburton, the Justice Department and more all agree with Bea, claiming BP failed to follow safety precautions.
"Their negligence is related to their actions that caused this event. It killed eleven people and created this catastrophe in the gulf that's the problem what they've done afterward it should have been expected," said Gulf Shores Mayor Robert Craft.
Protestors stood their ground Tuesday as the trial got underway. A judge will decide how much more BP will have to pay for the spill if it is found liable. BP has already paid $4 billion for the criminal portion of the case. The prosecution now has to prove that BP was grossly negligent, not just negligent.
If a judge sides with the prosecution, BP could pay as much as $4,300 per barrel of oil that spilled into the Gulf. Add that up, and it comes to about $17 billion.
Months of negotiations have failed to produce a compromise between BP, the Justice Department and five Gulf states.