Ah, summer’s over (although you’d never know it by the temperatures in NYC) and we must thank perennial wrongdoer Halliburton for easing our way back into the blogosphere. Whether it’s fraud, bribery, waste, abuse, faulty work, war profiteering, or blasting massive amounts of chemicals into underground rock formations (i.e. fracking), we can always count on this company to do something worthy of PopTort attention.
News broke today that Halliburton will pay $1.1 billion to settle most of the lawsuits brought over in the 2010 Deepwater Horizon oil disaster, which killed 11 people, destroyed countless businesses and ruined the Gulf environment. This deal does not include cases brought by states, which have not settled.
“This punitive and assigned claims settlement with Halliburton is a reasonable compromise of a highly contested issue — the level of responsibility of Halliburton and the degree of the alleged failures of Halliburton’s conduct,” Joe Rice, an attorney for the plaintiffs, said in a statement.
Halliburton was accused of completing sub-par cement work on the Macondo well that Deepwater Horizon was drilling.
In its own statement, Halliburton did not take any responsibility for the incident.
Of course not. This despite a presidential commission, which found them fully responsible, specifically that, "Halliburton officials knew weeks before the fatal explosion … that the cement mixture they planned to use to seal the bottom of the well was unstable but still went ahead with the job.”
So I’d say, given that “Transocean settled some claims for $1.4 billion last year, while BP has paid more than $28 billion and faces potentially tens of billions more,” Halliburton should thank its one lucky star. Writes Bloomberg,
[A]greement now averts the company’s risk of a more costly judgment for some spill victims and removes much of the uncertainty that has plagued Halliburton for the past four years as investors waited to see the payout tally. With its biggest piece of liability resolved, Halliburton can refocus its attention on developing new oilfield technology that will help it boost profits worldwide.
Oh joy, can't wait. More fodder for ThePopTort, that's for sure! Great to be back.