If an oil company negligently caused an oil spill, then does the $75 million liability cap apply?
No. While the Oil Pollution Act limits the liability of a "responsible party" offshore oil rig to the total of all removal costs plus $75,000,000, the law also lists several exceptions to that limited liability. Specifically, if the responsible party is found to have done any of the following, the $75M liability cap doesn't apply:
- Caused the incident by gross negligence or willful misconduct;
- Caused the incident as the result of violation of an applicable Federal safety, construction, or operating regulation;
- Didn't report the incident as required by law;
- Didn't cooperate with the proper officials or the Federal On-Scene Coordinator (FOSC) in charge of the spill cleanup; or
- Didn't comply with government orders related to the spill cleanup.
The information on this page is meant to provide a general overview of the law. The laws in your state and/or city may deviate significantly from those described here. If you have specific questions related to your situation you should speak with a local attorney.
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