OIL giant BP learned last night it could be hit by a civil lawsuit from the US Justice Department, as outgoing chief executive Tony Hayward prepares to face MPs over the Deepwater Horizon disaster today.
The department said in a court filing on Monday that the US government “expects that it may file a civil complaint related to the Deepwater Horizon disaster” after reviewing the relevant environmental laws.
The government has not yet filed a civil action over the spill in the Gulf of Mexico, but has set out the practical details of any potential claim in Monday’s document, seen by City A.M.
Hannah August, a spokesperson for the Department of Justice, said: “As we have said from the beginning, we are committed to ensuring that those responsible clean up the mess they made, restore or replace the natural resources lost or injured in this tragedy, and repay every cent of taxpayer money.”
BP declined to comment on court matters.
The district court in Louisiana is already set to hear more than 300 cases arising from the disaster on 20 April, and the firm has begun to sell assets to pay for the clean-up and $20bn (£12.9bn) compensation fund.
Hayward will appear this afternoon before the parliamentary committee on energy and climate change to talk about the Gulf of Mexico oil spill and its implications for the UK.