BP is facing a tsunami of lawsuits over the oil spill from the sunken oil rig in the Gulf of Mexico – with 5000 barrels, or the equivalent of 210,000 gallons of crude oil gushing from the sea floor where the blowout killing 11 workers occurred, it's potentially the worst environmental disaster the US has ever seen – and no doubt lawyers will look at the company's track record.
Lawsuits have already been filed and we can expect many more because BP has form on environmental disasters
Investigative news web site Pro Publica tells us the oil company is no stranger to accidents going back to March 2005 when a monster explosion ripped through a tower at the BP refinery in Texas City, Texas, killing 15 workers and injuring 170 others, followed by problems in Alaska and the Gulf.
Worse still, we have reports that BP didn't actually plan for the oil spill. According to a 52 page exploration plan filed by BP, the company said it was "unlikely that an accidental surface or subsurface oil spill would occur from the proposed activities."
That's meat for the lawyers. How much will BP have to pay? According to one estimate, it's as much as $3 billion but chances are it will be a lot more as the lawsuits build up. Is it any wonder BP shares have been hammered?