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BP and Three Executives Facing Criminal Charges Over Oil Spill

Soulskill posted about a year ago | from the now-spilling-lawyers-to-compensate dept.

The Courts 238

New submitter SleazyRidr writes "Finally some news that will please a lot of the Slashdot crowd: a company has been charged with manslaughter! BP has been charged with manslaughter following the Macondo Incident. 'BP has agreed to pay $4.5 billion to settle the criminal charges and related Securities and Exchange Commission charges.' Two of the rig supervisors and a BP executive are also facing jail time. The supervisors are charged with 'failing to alert on-shore managers at the time they observed clear signs that the Macondo well was not secure and that oil and gas were flowing into the well,' and the supervisor is charged with 'obstruction of Congress and making false statements to law enforcement officials about the amount of oil flowing from the well.' Is this the start of companies being forced to take responsibility for their actions?"

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238 comments

Corporations are people (5, Insightful)

Toe, The (545098) | about a year ago | (#42122295)

Who knew that could ever come back and bite them in the ass?

Re:Corporations are people (-1)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#42122351)

What do they care? So they lose a few replaceable employees and have to raise prices of their products to make up for the fines. It's not like their customers had a choice and could go to a cheaper competitor.

Re:Corporations are people (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#42122477)

News flash: BP does have competitors. They're not the only oil company in the world.

Re:Corporations are people (4, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#42122583)

Yea but that's not exactly a market in which competition is a thing. They'll just jointly raise prices, the others will make a bit more profit in the short-term for when it's their turn to pay for a major fuckup and the industry as a whole does business as usual.

Re:Corporations are people (5, Insightful)

vlm (69642) | about a year ago | (#42122725)

Oh how I wish this wasn't posted AC...

Thats exactly how an oligarchy works. Today, company A would love to raise prices to make more money, but B and C won't play along, so they can't. We now know for certain that company B will raise prices next week by X dollars. Therefore A and C will match and stash away the profit.

Its not entirely bad, because its not so much a fine for BP as a reward via higher profits to all their competitors. If CEO compensation were related to profit (which it is not) then there would be intense pressure to not screw up and miss out on the fine platter of free profit.

Re:Corporations are people (1)

TFAFalcon (1839122) | about a year ago | (#42123275)

Bonuses related to profit would just screw up things more. They'd do deals that give extreme profits now, but wreck the companies future. So they get a bonus, company profits plummet in the beginning of next year, they get fired and get their golden parachute. What more could they ask for?

Re:Corporations are people (3, Informative)

MozeeToby (1163751) | about a year ago | (#42122537)

Oil is a fungible commodity. That is to say, oil of similar quality is worth the same regardless of whom it comes from. That is to say, they cannot raise prices because their competitors (of which there are many, many competitors in the crude oil industry) will eat them alive.

And even ignoring all that, your statement implies that by raising prices they could increase their profit margins. Why wouldn't they be doing that before the fine was levied. That would be like someone at the boardroom meeting says "if we increase our prices by 10% we will see a $4.5 billion increase in profit", if it worked that way they would have done it already.

Re:Corporations are people (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#42122683)

Never noticed that BP gasoline costs more than anyone else's have you.

Re:Corporations are people (-1)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#42122775)

Petrol stations are franchises; BP don't set the forecourt prices.

Re:Corporations are people (1)

wisnoskij (1206448) | about a year ago | (#42123007)

If BP controls the franchise than even if they do not set the price they would have near absolute control over it.

Re:Corporations are people (1)

newcastlejon (1483695) | about a year ago | (#42123175)

Given the slim profits that garages make from petrol sales (in the UK at least) that wouldn't surprise me. I've heard that the average garage makes less than £100 each day from petrol; their main earners are magazines and snacks. Admittedly this is all anecdotal.

Re:Corporations are people (1)

Golddess (1361003) | about a year ago | (#42123293)

That's similar to what I've heard, which is that while the not-gasoline items have a higher per-unit profit value, gasoline is still where the majority of their income comes from simply due to the volume of gasoline being sold.

But I don't know if that is true or not, it is simply something I've heard.

Re:Corporations are people (1)

ixnaay (662250) | about a year ago | (#42122947)

First time I've seen compounded "That is to say's" in the wild.

Re:Corporations are people (1)

MozeeToby (1163751) | about a year ago | (#42123153)

For some people you have to simplify the simplification of the simplification. When I feel that is necessary, I like to make it obvious that I'm dumbing things down so I don't feel as stupid spelling things out.

Re:Corporations are people (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#42122569)

Commodities don't work like that bro. They don't get to set the price of something when dozens of other countries and companies produce an identical product.

Not really (5, Insightful)

Safety Cap (253500) | about a year ago | (#42122501)

When "BP" has to spend 180 days in prison like a regular person convicted of manslaughter then I'll believe it.

Oh, and I'd want BP to be a registered felon, so no government jobs/contracts, no leaving the country and no crossing state lines without the court's okay.

Re:Not really (2)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#42122689)

Well guess what--BP is currently banned from government contracts. Would you like to add another condition to justify your outrage?

Re:Not really (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#42122863)

How long till they get "pardoned" in the future? How do those odds compare to that of an actual living person?

Re:Not really (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#42122919)

Yeah. Hard time for anyone whoever shorted safety measures to save a dime. Forfeiture of assets and property.
Him, and his boss, and his boss all the way up the chain.

These are the same rich fucks that bitch about "Accountability" and immediately duck out and whine to the politicians in their pockets when they blow up an oil rig, kill a bunch of their workers, and destroy a few coastlines and fisheries.

Re:Not really (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#42123351)

their TEMPORARILY banned from NEW contracts, shill.

Re:Not really (4, Interesting)

MaskedSlacker (911878) | about a year ago | (#42122761)

When "BP" has to spend 180 days in prison like a regular person convicted of manslaughter then I'll believe it.

I'd settle for a fine equal to 180 days gross revenue (effectively the same).

Re:Not really (0)

Bigby (659157) | about a year ago | (#42122841)

That is actually a wonderful idea. BP would essentially shut down. Their employees will have to go work elsewhere. They would go out of business and better companies would take their place and good employees. It would be a natural deterrent to big companies.

Re:Not really (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#42123335)

When "BP" has to spend 180 days in prison like a regular person convicted of manslaughter then I'll believe it.

Why BP? They were the customer of the rig operator.

Would you have Anonymous Coward jailed for tax avoidance because he was running a server in Amazon's EC2?

Re:Corporations are people (1)

wer32r (2556798) | about a year ago | (#42122541)

So, companies had their rights elevated to the rights of people.. But what would happen if people had their rights elevated to the rights of companies? I mean, manslaughter -> pay $4.5 billion, and walk free.

Re:Corporations are people (2)

vlm (69642) | about a year ago | (#42122753)

So, companies had their rights elevated to the rights of people.. But what would happen if people had their rights elevated to the rights of companies?
I mean, manslaughter -> pay $4.5 billion, and walk free.

Must be new, or young. search wikipedia for OJ Simpson

Re:Corporations are people (1)

wer32r (2556798) | about a year ago | (#42122985)

From Wikipedia:

Incarcerated at Lovelock Correctional Center, Nevada

It seems to me that he did not get to just pay and walk free.

Re:Corporations are people (1)

osu-neko (2604) | about a year ago | (#42123181)

Must be new, or young. search wikipedia for OJ Simpson

That's not a good example to generalize from, though. When the prosecution presents a case with holes big enough to drive a white Ford Bronco through, this is the result. It wasn't so much a competent defender as utterly incompetent cops and prosecutors...

Re:Corporations are people (1)

Bigby (659157) | about a year ago | (#42122869)

Or cut off my finger and put it in prison. Since my finger was the one that pulled the trigger, just like the executive is taking all the responsibility for the company.

Re:Corporations are people (-1)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#42122643)

It is still a slap on the fucking wrists. A real punishment would have been the corporate version of the death penalty, revoking their corporate charter. and then giving all of the execs the death penalty.

Not guilty! (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#42122341)

but they're innocent

Stupid summary (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#42122349)

No, you idiot, BP is not charged with manslaughter, people in the company are charged with manslaughter.

Re:Stupid summary (4, Interesting)

Jeremy Erwin (2054) | about a year ago | (#42122667)

A few states, such as Australia and the UK have such a thing as corporate manslaughter. Not every murderer acts on his own initiative, sometimes he has his employer's interests at heart. UK version [hse.gov.uk]

No. (1)

MyFirstNameIsPaul (1552283) | about a year ago | (#42122369)

Removing caps on civil lawsuits will force firms to behave more responsibly.

Re:No. (1)

osu-neko (2604) | about a year ago | (#42123225)

But... but... they're job creators! Shouldn't we just let them do whatever they want?! Making them pay for their mistakes leaves them we less money to trickle out to us as jobs! /eyeroll

Scapegoats (1)

pbjones (315127) | about a year ago | (#42122375)

The company has escaped charges, only a few people are actually facing actual charges. I would guess that lots of people behind the company execs who were actually writing the lies will collect their big pay packets and not actually give a shit.

Re:Scapegoats (5, Insightful)

buchner.johannes (1139593) | about a year ago | (#42122525)

The larger damage was not to manslaughter but to destroying a complete ecosystem - Privatizing profits and socializing losses in action. Companies trifle with natural resources because they know if it all fails, we will have to pull together to get out of it.

On the same note, why can people put a price on a pirated mp3, but not on a long-term damaged ecosystem?

Re:Scapegoats (2, Insightful)

operagost (62405) | about a year ago | (#42122611)

The ecosystem is not destroyed. The oil that entered the water is organic and constantly enters the oceans naturally. BP's negligence caused it to enter far more rapidly than the ecosystem could handle. This resulted in great immediate harm to sea life, but not permanent.

Re:Scapegoats (1)

Sulphur (1548251) | about a year ago | (#42122871)

The larger damage was not to manslaughter but to destroying a complete ecosystem - Privatizing profits and socializing losses in action. Companies trifle with natural resources because they know if it all fails, we will have to pull together to get out of it.

On the same note, why can people put a price on a pirated mp3, but not on a long-term damaged ecosystem?

Copyright or patent the Gulf of Mexico then.

Re:Scapegoats (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#42123155)

On the same note, why can people put a price on a pirated mp3, but not on a long-term damaged ecosystem?

Theoretically, because people buy/sell MP3s at established prices, and they don't buy/sell ecosystems. Of course, that assumes that the damages for music distribution were in proportion to the list prices.

Re:Scapegoats (2)

GodfatherofSoul (174979) | about a year ago | (#42122669)

But, people being held responsible nonetheless. The next time an edict comes down the "pipe" to start drilling without proper precautions, the folks on point are more likely to CYA and either get official clearance from above (absolving them of blame) or just outright refuse to follow orders.

Why isn't BP facing jail time? (-1)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#42122401)

BP shouldn't be allowed to basically buy their way out of this. If convicted, the company itself should be incarcerated for whatever length is appropriate under the law.

Settle criminal charges? (3, Interesting)

SoupGuru (723634) | about a year ago | (#42122403)

You can settle criminal charges with a load of cash? That doesn't seem right to me.

Re:Settle criminal charges? (1)

eugene6 (2627513) | about a year ago | (#42122437)

A *company* can settle criminal charges with a load of cash. People cannot. So it's still legit.

Re:Settle criminal charges? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#42122547)

Companies are people too, my friend

Re:Settle criminal charges? (1)

techno-vampire (666512) | about a year ago | (#42122605)

People can too settle criminal charges with a load of cash. They do it by pleading guilty and agreeing to pay a fine to avoid going to prison.

Re:Settle criminal charges? (1)

h4rr4r (612664) | about a year ago | (#42123083)

While that is generally possible for lesser charges I don't think it is normally the case for manslaughter charges.

Re:Settle criminal charges? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#42123247)

20 seconds on google, and I found this example [ksl.com] :

On Tuesday, Behling pleaded guilty in 7th District Court to two counts of reckless endangerment, a class A misdemeanor, and the other charges were dismissed.

Plead guilty to lesser charges, save the court a bunch of expense in trials and appeals, and they'll happily reduce or eliminate manslaughter charges, unless your case is exceptional in some way.

Re:Settle criminal charges? (1)

h4rr4r (612664) | about a year ago | (#42123343)

Sure, but he plead guilty to a lessor charge. So your example is not that at all.

Re:Settle criminal charges? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#42122505)

Sentencing a corporation to imprisonment would just be stupid, so yes.

Re:Settle criminal charges? (1)

X0563511 (793323) | about a year ago | (#42122545)

Not if the government gets any earned profits during incarceration...

Re:Settle criminal charges? (1)

scared masked man (2776663) | about a year ago | (#42122743)

You'd probably have to give the government power to appoint directors for the duration of the sentence too, to prevent a sudden upsurge in infrastructure spending (or paperclip purchase).

Re:Settle criminal charges? (1)

h4rr4r (612664) | about a year ago | (#42123037)

Far easier. Seize all revenue, not profits.
People don't generally collect a paycheck from their normal jobs while in jail. Hey, if corporations want to be people lets treat them like people.

Re:Settle criminal charges? (2)

MaskedSlacker (911878) | about a year ago | (#42122831)

You've never heard of Hollywood accounting have you...

Re:Settle criminal charges? (1)

h4rr4r (612664) | about a year ago | (#42123235)

Easy way around that.
Take it out of revenue not profit. To ensure they do not cook the books calculate it out of the ratio of days in a year. So 180 days in prison would be nearly 50% of gross revenue for the year. To ensure no cross year shenanigans also require it to be no smaller than 40% of the previous years.

Re:Settle criminal charges? (1)

interkin3tic (1469267) | about a year ago | (#42122615)

A company's... ahem... "life" would be money. In jail, basically part of your lifespan is given up. It kinda makes sense that criminal charges would result in a fine.

And by "kinda makes sense" I mean in the insane worlds of the judicial system and business.

Re:Settle criminal charges? (2)

vlm (69642) | about a year ago | (#42122857)

A company's... ahem... "life" would be money. In jail, basically part of your lifespan is given up. It kinda makes sense that criminal charges would result in a fine.

And by "kinda makes sense" I mean in the insane worlds of the judicial system and business.

From a back dated way of looking at the balance sheet, that kinda makes sense. The problem is looking at historical balance sheets for BP I don't think it took them very long to accumulate $1B on the balance sheet, so you're only taking away a small part of the companies life.

Now if you decided a human would go to prison for 10 years, and found a balance sheet from 10 years ago for BP and did the delta... of course this logic doesn't work so well with dying companies, HP or Kodak or places like that would be awarded a negative bill if they killed someone.

You could model it on revenue... plus or minus work release laws a human can't earn raw revenue for 10 years, so take away 10 years of revenue. The problem with that is some companies are so leveraged up that the equivalent of a night in the drunk tank would bankrupt them, then again in that financial state they are the walking dead anyway. Hmm.

KILL THE WIND! (1)

Thud457 (234763) | about a year ago | (#42122909)

Finn warned us that the matrix was full of mambos 'n' shit.
Looks like the demons are escaping into the real world now.
How much longer until we're worshiping disencarnate beings in boxes and supplicating for their guidance?

Re:Settle criminal charges? (2)

Kergan (780543) | about a year ago | (#42123009)

Then again, sentencing its executives makes a lot of sense too.

There should be a fine and jail time for the execs who were responsible in the case of BP.

The same for banksters, for that matter.

Betteridge's law: no. (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#42122411)

"Is this the start of companies being forced to take responsibility for their actions?" No.

Two "supervisors" (guys who work on the oil rig) and an "executive" (guy who wears a necktie at the office) going to jail != company taking responsibility.

Responsibility happens when board members, major investors, and the CEO go to jail.

Death Penalty (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#42122565)

Responsibility happens when we get a Corporate Death Penalty. Articles of incorporation get revoked, all assets liquidated, and all major players (CEO, board) lose everything and are disallowed from working non-minimum-wage positions for a decade.

Re:Death Penalty (1)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#42122737)

Back in the day, well before the ''companys are people" nonsense, the 'corporate death penalty' (revoking a corporate charter) was used fairly often, and for much lesser offenses than this. No idea why it's fallen out of favor.

Re:Betteridge's law: no. (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#42122691)

How about customers? They gave material support, so why shouldn't all BP customers go to jail?

Re:Betteridge's law: no. (1)

h4rr4r (612664) | about a year ago | (#42123263)

Because they had no idea this was going on and no way to act against it.

The customer is always the least information actor, thus the least responsible.

Re:Betteridge's law: no. (2, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#42123069)

This presumes that board members, major investors, and the CEO were both aware of, and actively refusing to do something about safety and environmental concerns.

In a company the size of BP, it's flatly unreasonable to expect that the board & CEO will be aware of every minor decision and safety concern anywhere in the company the moment it is raised. Now, if there is evidence that those people were negligent in responding to, addressing, or correcting issues that they were clearly informed of, then you'd have a good argument for "jail terms" for these people. Without it, the blame rests with the people who FAILED to raise those safety concerns, or ignored those safety concerns, when it was their job to care about and address them - i.e., the supervisors, and the executive being charged.

This "string up the board" argument is as stupid as it is misguided. It plays well to the idiotic "Occupy Wall Street" crowd; thankfully it doesn't play as well to an educated judiciary.

Trade War (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#42122417)

This is frankly part of an ongoing trade war that the USA has been prosecuting with a number of countries, the UK included. While I am pleased that people are being held to account (and corporations also) let's not fool ourselves that this is anything other than a convenient way of raising taxation for the US Treasury from a foreign-based company.

A company charged with manslaughter. REALLY? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#42122425)

I understand that a company is a legal entity like a person. Also, a company (in the USA) has freedoms/rights (freedom of speak). But, how on earth does a company that is ever found guilty of a manslaughter charge ever serve prison time???

Re:A company charged with manslaughter. REALLY? (1)

MozeeToby (1163751) | about a year ago | (#42122641)

But, how on earth does a company that is ever found guilty of a manslaughter charge ever serve prison time???

Lots of options: A) Close the doors, permanently or temporarily B) Fines equal to multiple years worth of profit, equivalent to the wages lost when a person is in prison C) Massive government oversight into their operations from the boardroom down to the people manning the rigs, paid for by BP through fines D) Government seizure of assets up to and including the entire company, to be sold off to the highest bidder.

"Oh noes! That screws the shareholders!" Yeah, that's the point. We've already decided, as a society, that shareholders are who companies are really accountable to. The risk that your company gets lots of people killed, destroys ecosystems and regional economies should be factored into your share price.

cognitive dissonance plus ultra (1)

Thud457 (234763) | about a year ago | (#42122979)

shareholders

So fractional slavery is acceptable?!!! I thought we settled this 150+ years ago.

This whole "companies are people, too" road leads to madness.

Re:cognitive dissonance plus ultra (1)

MozeeToby (1163751) | about a year ago | (#42123221)

It doesn't enslave the shareholders, it punishes them for their roll in a crime. They are financially supporting a company that performs illegal actions. They have the right to vote new directors, new policies, new mission statements, and in extreme cases they have the right to sue if their interests aren't be met. If all else fails, they have the right to sell their stock to someone else.

Imagine it this way: I've got a buddy who used to work in the oil business. He's got land that he knows has oil under it, and says to me that for $10,000 he can cut a lot of corners, take a lot of risks, but he'll get that oil pumping and give me 50% of the profits. As a partner in that venture, I would absolutely be held responsible if his illegal drilling practices killed people and caused an ecological disaster.

The "start"? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#42122427)

Um, no, this is not the start of anything. It has ALWAYS been the case that corporations are sometimes held responsible for their actions, and sometimes not, just like individuals are sometimes held responsible for their actions, and sometimes not. Please, Slashdot, if half of your articles are going to be about legal issues, please get an editor who understands them. The summaries act like every single case that ever happens is a groundbreaking precedent. They always end with an absurdly over-broad and leading question about how drastic the decision is.

Getting charged with... (2)

Synerg1y (2169962) | about a year ago | (#42122445)

Doesn't mean conviction and punishment. The reason corporations tend to get fined rather than individuals getting charged is stuff like distributed responsibility and less than stellar organizational hierarchies & less than clear job responsibilities. Basically, it's like playing pin the tail on the donkey.

A judge also may set bond conditions and other restrictions on the defendants, but the workers don't face arrest ahead of time, their lawyers said.

Not your typical criminal manslaughter treatment.

Re:Getting charged with... (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#42122673)

Not your typical criminal manslaughter treatment.

In part because despite the hyperbole, it's an awkward case where something went wrong with the well, and everyone is sure there should've been plenty of warnings, but no one can actually find anything more incriminating than "well, if they'd've been more paranoid, this would've probably not had any deaths on the rig."

That in mind, the two facing prison time were selected as the two supervisors who had the most chance to identify a problem and at least prevent human injury, even if there was no chance at stopping the leak.

Yup, just another government grab for money (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#42122467)

The USA Government, in the hopes of reducing the deficit, are now turning to foreign corporations to raid to fund their spending sprees...

appeasing the crowds (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#42122487)

like any of this will stick.

"Is this the start of companies being forced to.." (3, Insightful)

Gaygirlie (1657131) | about a year ago | (#42122549)

"...take responsibility for their actions?"

No. This is just to appeal to environmentalists and the general populace, and will be a very rare occurrence. I verily doubt you'll see a single company in the next 10 years being forced to "take responsibility."

So if we can hold the oil company accountable... (4, Insightful)

scorp1us (235526) | about a year ago | (#42122621)

Why can't we hold the financial industry accountable and start putting bankers in Federal pound-me-in-the-ass prisons?

Obstructing Congress is illegal? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#42122639)

When has lying to and obstructing Congress been illegal?

Previous cases:
Holder: "Fast and furious was a program started under Bush"
Congress: "We would like evidence of that" ... 3 months later
Holder: "I misspoke when I said fast and furious started under Bush, it was started under the Obama administration."
In addition he also lied about when he heard about the program to congress on 2 occasions, was held in Contempt of Congress for failing to comply with a sopenia and has obstructed every investigation Congress has done into Fast and Furious. Over 200 Mexicans have been killed due to actions from the Justice Department because of this program.

Result...
If you point this out you will be called a racist because Holder is black.

So, like I said. When has obstructing congress become a crime? I didn't realize a new law had passed recently making it illegal.

No: of truthful notifications (1)

holophrastic (221104) | about a year ago | (#42122677)

The whole point of the justice system isn't to punish people for making mistakes. It's to punish them for intentionally making mistakes as a deterant.

In this case, the problem wasn't the spill -- it's certainly not something that they did intentionally, and hence they needn't be discouraged from spilling again. The problem is that they didn't follow through with the obvious safety procedure of screaming "fire!" and "get out of the way!" and "the oil is coming!".

Not screaming -- or not screaming soon enough loud enough -- is something that they did intentionally. Had they done so, they could have saved people from trouble.

So no, this isn't the start of companies being forced to take responsibility for their actions. This is the start of companies being forced to switch into life-saving mode following a dramatic event.

This isn't stopping drivers from hitting pedestrians. This is stopping drivers who, having hit a pedenstrian, from running away instead of helping that injured pedestrian. (sorry, you just gotta do the car analogy)

Re:No: of truthful notifications (1)

h4rr4r (612664) | about a year ago | (#42123157)

I would say blaming them for a spill is fine as well. You are still responsible for cleaning up the mistakes you make even if they are not intentional.

Drop, meet Bucket (3, Interesting)

sl4shd0rk (755837) | about a year ago | (#42122767)

With over $150 Billion in equity* it's a laughable settlement considering the gross negligence BP should be cited for.

[*] - http://www.bp.com/extendedsectiongenericarticle.do?categoryId=9021229&contentId=7039276 [bp.com]

Re:Drop, meet Bucket (2)

epp_b (944299) | about a year ago | (#42123113)

Would be nice if us proles could get out of a manslaughter charge by relinquishing a mere 3% of our equity.

Yeah, it'll please the Slashdot crowd.... (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#42122783)

"Herp! I hate corporations and anyone who makes money. After all, what do they ever give me? I only got this smartphone and this computer and these video game systems and this car I drive on oil and this high speed internet connection and these movies, books and music that I pirated and..."
 
If "the Slashdot crowd" had as much common sense as they claim they'd see they're players too the system too. If they had any courage they'd turn their back on the system and start living by their own heavy handed ideals instead of trying to force everyone else to do it for them.

Means Little Until (1)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#42122813)

Corporations can be financially executed for killing their employees or through negligence causing an environmental catastrophe!
We here on the West Coast of Canada are under extreme pressure to put a pipe line through some of the most important salmon habitat in the world [wcel.org] . In the future who would be responsible if here like in Michigan the oil did major damage to our salmon habit on rivers like the Maurice which it is set to cross. A severe spill in this watershed at the wrong time of year with high water flow would decimate the entire Bulkley River, and the Skeena from the confluence with the Bulkley for years!

Or a major spill in the coastal habitat that the tankers and terminal would use could make the feasco of Exxon Valdez [wikipedia.org] look like a minor mess by comparison. The tidal flows and currents in the proposed area of tanker traffic would make containment of the spill completely impossible!

Firstly the only reason for this pipe line is to pad the pockets of oil and pipe line companies like BP, secondly all this pipeline does is offshore the refining and secondary industries created by refined bitumen out of Canada and North America, the same way shipping out raw logs instead of manufacturing wood products already here does.

Corporations are not held to task for their actions and it is time that they become so, whether that be killing the economy of a nation by raping the resources and returning a pittance to the County of origin or killing their employees through greed and the economic expedience of low safety standards.

Can you blame Chavez for kicking the jerks out of Venezuela? Sure he is an idiot and a dictator but being a dictator and moron was not the reason he rose so high on Bush the second and Dick Chaney's hit list.

That's Why You Drill in China (2)

eldavojohn (898314) | about a year ago | (#42122837)

They should have followed ConocoPhillips and their plans in China [nytimes.com] . Not only will they not face criminal charges, the government decided not to let the state controlled media report on it until it slipped out via a blog. Darn it! If only the government could control everything, we wouldn't have to worry about everyone else finding out about a little 320 square mile oil spill.

Appease the masses. (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#42122881)

What's that? Blood for oil?

You can now pay fines for manslaughter? (2)

h4rr4r (612664) | about a year ago | (#42122949)

Does this mean rich people can just kill the poor and pay fines now?

Taking a life illegally should at least warrant some jail time.

You can settle criminal charges now? (3, Insightful)

Sydin (2598829) | about a year ago | (#42123133)

That's nice. So go right ahead and take up that manslaughter hobby you've always dreamed of! After all it was only what, 11 people killed? so $4.5 billion divided by 11: that means you can murder anybody you want for the low low price of only ~$409 million!. What are you waiting for!? ...I fucking hate this country.

After the fact (1)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#42123151)

The charges are for actions taken after the incident, not for failing to prevent it.

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