As trial nears, BP fights to keep its past from creeping into court
With the trial over the Deepwater Horizon disaster looming, BP's attorneys are moving to strike any mention of the company's long history of operating failures from court records, FuelFix.com reports. BP has been arguing for years that numerous problems it's had during the past decade aren't related. After the Baker Commission completed its report on the 2005 Texas City refinery explosion, BP's then-CEO, John Browne, was quick to note that it focused on an aspect of BP, not the company's overall culture. Tony Hayward, Browne's successor, said after the Deepwater Horizon disaster that although investigations of accidents dating back more than a decade found similar causes related to BP's culture, it wasn't proper to "connect the dots." With billions of dollars on the line, BP, Transocean and Halliburton are set to find out from a federal judge who among them is to blame for the April 20, 2010, explosion on and sinking of the Deepwater Horizon oil rig in the Gulf of Mexico. While BP hasn't had much luck in convincing the general public, or even many in the energy industry, of its point, it has had more success in keeping the idea out of court. With the company now headed toward the start of a massive trial in New Orleans next week, it's scrambling to strike any mention of Texas City or its other problems from the record. The judge overseeing the case, Carl Barbier, agreed with BP last month in ruling that witnesses in the case would not be allowed to discuss Texas City or other operating failures. In a motion filed Thursday, BP is going a step further, taking issue with pieces of witness depositions and expert testimony that refer to previous accidents. It wants all such references to be stricken even from the written record, in accordance with Barbier's order. Read more about the forthcoming trial here.
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