Obviously, executives from the oil company BP lost a lot of sleep in the days immediately following the unprecedented underground explosion in the Gulf of Mexico in April 2010. As our readers undoubtedly remember well, that singular event turned out to be catastrophic, with the blowout destroying the Deepwater Horizon oil platform and taking the lives of 11 people.
BP principals undoubtedly spent countless hours in the aftermath of that tragedy assessing company risk and trying to get a handle on the ultimate costs that would ultimately be forthcoming regarding wrongful death lawsuits, remediation efforts, government penalties and other damages.
Regardless of the number they came up, it was likely a vast understatement of the money eventually sucked out of BP. According to the company’s own “final” cost estimate that was recently released to the public, the financial damage suffered by the oil behemoth will clock in at about $61.6 billion.
As noted in a recent media account of the horrendous and unprecedented results of the BP explosion and the mass litigation it entailed, the economic repercussions to the company equated to this: a dollar figure exceeding the entire net worth of a company the size of General Motors or Ford.
As far as litigation has been concerned, the above-cited article notes that “a flood of lawsuits” resulted, with plaintiffs ranging from the families of fatally injured parties and area fishermen to damaged businesses across the region and state and federal agencies.
The sad saga will of course be long remembered. At least three million barrels of oil spilled into the Gulf of Mexico.
“It’s a miracle that the company is still in business,” says one financial analyst.
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