"Even as BP finished construction on one massive containment dome Monday and started drilling a relief well to cope with the oil leaking from crumpled pipes at the bottom of the Gulf of Mexico, lawmakers and Gulf Coast residents began questioning whether the company will take full responsibility for the economic losses stemming from the spill.
The prospect of an extended leak has intensified concerns over what compensation BP is willing to pay, since a law passed after the 1989 Exxon Valdez spill requires companies to pay for cleanup costs but no more than $75 million for other damage.
BP posted a fact sheet on its Web site saying it will take responsibility for the spill cleanup as well as provide compensation for "legitimate and objectively verifiable" claims for property damage, personal injury and commercial losses. On a day when the stock market rose sharply, the company's shares fell $1.96, or 3.8 percent, to close at $50.19. It was the third worst performing stock in the S&P 500."
Juliet Eilperin reports for the Washington Post May 4, 2010.
"Lawyers Arrive and Suits Follow" (Wall Street Journal)