Good morning to Captain and crew alike, and welcome to the Admiralty Docket. In a long-awaited ruling, Judge Carl Barbier, U.S. District Judge for the Eastern District of Louisiana, assigned liability among the defendants in the 2010 Deepwater Horizon oil rig disaster case and that found BP’s actions  rose to the level of gross negligence and recklessness, potentially increasing BP’s exposure by billions of dollars. Transocean and Halliburton were found to be negligent, but their conduct did not rise to the level of BP’s. Now it’s on to the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Fifth Circuit. It will be interesting to see if this ruling has any effect on the Fifth Circuit’s take on punitive damages under the General Maritime Law. Read the full story here:

More next time on the Admiralty Docket. Until then, remember that your rights and responsibilities may change as you approach the shore, and may God Almighty grant you pleasant sailing.

The Admiralty Docket is a blog written by Charleston, SC Maritime Attorneys John Hughes Cooper and John Townsend Cooper which focuses on maritime legal issues and current events in South Carolina and the Southeastern United States.