Is BP backing out of their previous deal to ‘pay whatever is necessary?’

This does not sound encouraging. At all.

But yesterday in federal court, an attorney for the oil giant sent shockwaves throughout the Gulf region by suggesting that BP may seek shelter under the $75 million liability cap polluters can invoke under the Oil Pollution Act of 1990.

U.S. District Judge Carl J. Barbier, who’s presiding over the more than 300 consolidated lawsuits against the company, was taken aback when BP attorney Don Haycraft floated the idea of the liability cap. Barbier replied simply that “BP said it would pay whatever [is] necessary.” Steven Herman, a plaintiffs attorney in the case, also registered surprise. “We’re shocked over here to hear the defendants now bring up this $75 million cap,” he said. “We were under the impression it was waived.”


An American in Paris, France. BA in History & Political Science from Ohio State. Provided consulting services to US software startups, launching new business overseas that have both IPO’d and sold to well-known global software companies. Currently launching a new cloud-based startup. Full bio here.

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