Houston lawyer Tony Buzbee wants you to ignore BP's handshaking and humble taking of responsibility for the oil spill.
"BP is a liar, has been a liar for many years," says the oil rig bloodhound. "Until the checks in the bank and it's cleared, i wouldn't take their word that they'll pay for anything. They will play semantic games, say 'we'll pay for all damage' or 'all legitimate damage,' but they always qualify so later they can say 'we don't consider that legitimate damage' or 'we don't consider that damage.'"
There was evidence of semantic games in the hearing when BP spokesperson Darryl Willis at first took responsibility for all oil spill damages, and then refused -- under repeated questions -- to take confirm or deny liability for damage from chemical dispersants.
Another problem for BP will be attacks from other defendants.
Although BP and Transocean are somewhat cordial, a Halliburton spokesperson launched into BP at today's hearing. Halliburton needs to attack the oil company, Buzbee explains, because Halliburton must indemnify [is contractually obligated to pay] any damages to Transocean. Halliburton couldn't sue Transocean without suing itself, so they will aim all guns at BP.
"I'm looking to get the largest verdict in the history of the United States," Buzbee said.
Buzbee anticipates this case making its way to the Supreme Court. With scores of evidence against the Deepwater companies already, the attorney thinks he can increase the 1-to-1 ratio for punitive damages established in Exxon Valdez.
May 27, 2010