Royal Dutch Shell Plc  .com Rotating Header Image

The Guardian: Victims reject BP plea bargain over Texas blast

Andrew Clark in New York 
Wednesday November 21 2007

Victims of BP’s Texas refinery disaster are seeking to overturn the oil firm’s guilty plea agreement with the US government, on the grounds that it is unduly lenient.

A lawyer representing a dozen people injured or bereaved when the refinery blew up in 2005 has filed papers arguing that a $50,000 fine by the US department of justice is a paltry criminal penalty for an explosion which killed 15 people and injured another 170.

Corpus Christi attorney David Perry wants BP to hand over profits of $1bn which, he says, the company made from the plant over six years while maintenance was neglected. “We have a saying that crime does not pay,” he told the Guardian. “To let someone keep $1bn in their pocket made from this illegal conduct – that, we feel, is outrageous.”

In a deal announced last month, BP settled a range of criminal investigations into its US operations, from poor maintenance of leaking pipelines in Alaska to alleged price manipulation by its propane gas traders. As part of the deal, it pleaded guilty to a felony over its upkeep of the Texas City refinery, which exploded when sleep-deprived, poorly supervised workers overfilled a container with unstable chemicals. The death toll was America’s worst industrial accident for a generation and led to a record $31m fine for breaching safety regulations.

A federal judge, Gray Miller, will decide on Tuesday whether to accept the criminal plea agreement. Mr Perry has asked the judge to excuse himself, on the grounds he previously worked for a Texas law firm which defended BP against personal injury claims.

http://www.guardian.co.uk/business/2007/nov/21/oil

royaldutchshellplc.com and its sister websites royaldutchshellgroup.com, shellenergy.website, shellnazihistory.com, royaldutchshell.website, johndonovan.website, shellnews.net and shell2004.com are all owned by John Donovan. There is also a Wikipedia article.

0 Comments on “The Guardian: Victims reject BP plea bargain over Texas blast”

Leave a Comment

%d bloggers like this: