11 Most Expensive Court Cases in US History

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The BP Oil Spill

$42 billion

Well, since the oil industry really has money to burn, why not using those dollars on lawsuits? The oil industry definitely has the costliest litigations in U.S. history. Take the 2010 Deepwater Horizon oil spill, for example. It was basically the largest marine oil spill in our history. And although it was accidental, it doesn’t mean they can get away with it.

Our government estimated a discharge of 4.9 million barrels released in the Gulf of Mexico. The total discharge resulted in incommensurable damage to marine wildlife and not only because 11 individuals went missing in the explosion. So, after three years, the BP company pled guilty, being responsible for 11 manslaughters, two misdemeanors, and a felony count of lying to Congress.

A year after that, they were also found guilty of the oil spill due to reckless conduct and negligence. Being trapped in a corner with virtually no way out, BP finally agreed to pay $18.7 billion in fines, the total costs of civil and criminal proceedings hitting $42 billion.

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