BP's $4.5B Spill Fine Is Biggest in US History
Firm pleads guilty to criminal misconduct
By Matt Cantor, Newser User
Posted Nov 15, 2012 8:37 AM CST
Updated Nov 15, 2012 11:11 AM CST
In this file photo made Oct. 25, 2007, the BP logo is seen at a gas station in Washington.   (AP Photo/Charles Dharapak, File)

(Newser) – Looks like BP will need to reach deep into its pockets to pay its fine over the 2010 Gulf oil spill: a record $4.5 billion to resolve Justice Department and SEC claims, reports the New York Times. CNN reports that the biggest criminal penalty in US history was previously paid by Pfizer, which forked over $1.3 billion in a 2009 deceptive marketing case. BP will also plead guilty to 14 criminal charges related to the spill. It's all part of a DOJ plea bargain that includes a waiver on future prosecution over the charges, Reuters reports.

The charges include 11 felony misconduct or neglect charges in the 11 deaths caused by the Deepwater Horizon accident, and an official says two BP employees will be charged with manslaughter. Federal, state, and private civil claims, including matters relating to the Clean Water Act and states' economic losses, could also cost the company billions, NBC News notes. Federal-versus-state claims could be a matter of contention; already, states have raised concerns that the feds will get an unfair cut of the money.

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Showing 3 of 27 comments
Nov 15, 2012 4:14 PM CST
HEY Obama! Why can't the off shore lease be canceled for gross negligence and confiscate the rig for fines owed, and give the forthcoming oil to the american people where it rightfully belongs, not overseas conglomerates. DO YOUR DUTY TO AMERICA!
Nov 15, 2012 4:00 PM CST
Corporations are people. People that can pay fines for criminal acts instead of serving jail time but people just the same!
Nov 15, 2012 3:33 PM CST
$4.5B? Pffft! That's not even two presidential elections.