"As Oil Spill Trial Opens, Push for a Deal Continues"

"NEW ORLEANS — BP finally faced off in court Monday against an army of federal and state prosecutors, lawyers and even its contract partners over the Gulf of Mexico oil spill three years ago, contending that it alone should not shoulder blame for the rig explosion that killed 11 workers and soiled beaches and marshes from Louisiana to Florida."

"BP’s share of responsibility is not only the crux of the trial that opened Monday, but it also is at the heart of a last-minute settlement proposal offered by the Justice Department and the five affected gulf states — Alabama, Florida, Louisiana, Mississippi and Texas — that are demanding that BP pay $16 billion in spill-related fines and penalties.

But as the long-awaited trial began here, federal prosecutors and plaintiffs’ lawyers made emotional appeals for the trial judge to find BP guilty of gross negligence, pointing to mounds of e-mails, documents and reports that had already been made public in the case. BP believes it should be held to a more lenient standard."

Clifford Krauss and Barry Meier report for the New York Times February 25, 2013.

SEE ALSO:

"Greed Caused BP's Gulf Oil Spill, Lawyers Argue" (Los Angeles Times)

"BP, Contractors Start Trial for Worst U.S. Offshore Spill" (Reuters)

"US Seeks Maximum Fine In BP Spill Trial" (Financial Times)

"Opening Statements Blame BP and Transocean for Massive Oil Spill"

Source: NY Times, 02/26/2013