BP is suing the maker of the device that failed to stop last year’s calamitous Gulf of Mexico oil spill, alleging negligence that the oil giant says helped cause the disaster.
The British company says in papers filed in federal court in New Orleans on Wednesday that Cameron International provided a blowout preventer with a faulty design, and in doing so caused an unreasonable amount of risk that harm would occur.
The suit, filed on the first anniversary of the explosion that led to the spill, seeks damages to help BP pay for the tens of billions of dollars in liabilities it has incurred from the disaster.
“The Deepwater Horizon BOP was unreasonably dangerous, and has caused and continues to cause harm, loss, injuries, and damages to BP (and others) stemming from the blowout of Macondo well, the resulting explosion and fire onboard the Deepwater Horizon, the efforts to regain control of the Macondo well, and the oil spill that ensued before control of the Macondo well could be regained,” BP said in the suit.
BP wants the court to award the oil giant damages against Cameron and to declare that the device maker caused or contributed to the disaster and is responsible for some or all costs incurred by BP.
Eleven people were killed when the Deepwater Horizon rig exploded on April 20, 2010, leading to more than 200 million gallons of oil spewing from an undersea well.
A testing firm hired by the government determined last month the blowout preventer had a faulty design. But it also cited other problems related to rig crew actions.
Houston-based Cameron noted in a statement emailed to AP that Wednesday was the deadline under the relevant statute for all parties to file claims against each other.
“It is not surprising that the companies are filing to protect their indemnity rights (except in the case of BP) and whatever claims they believe they have,” Cameron said. “Additionally, in order to protect ourselves, we, too, have filed crossclaims and counterclaims, including our indemnity claims, against other parties to the litigation.”
Cameron, one of the largest makers of blowout preventers, has defended the integrity of its devices and workmanship.
Also Wednesday, Transocean, the owner of the rig that exploded, filed court papers demanding that judgments be made against BP, Cameron and other companies in its favor. Among other things, Transocean wants a judgment against BP for $12.9 million and a judgment against cement contractor Halliburton and other companies for $20 million.