Global Processing

BP CEO ordered to testify

August 29, 2006

The Associated Press reports that a Texas judge has ordered BP PLC''s chief executive to give a deposition related to the explosion that killed 15 people last year at the company''s Texas City refinery, a plaintiff attorney said Monday. Judge Susan Criss of the 212th District Court ruled that Lord John Browne and BP Global refining and marketing chief John Manzoni must give depositions in the lawsuit filed by accident survivors and victims'' families, said lead plaintiff attorney Brent Coon. A spokesman for the London-based energy company said BP will appeal the decision. Attorneys for the plaintiffs said they have deposed about 75 company executives, including former president of BP Products North America Ross Pillari and BP Global refining vice president Mike Hoffman. BP has publicly accepted responsibility for the blast, which also injured more than 170 people. The oil giant has made settlements with many victims and has said it has taken steps to enhance safety at its facilities. However, the company is fighting the lawsuit, which alleges "gross negligence" led to the disaster. A jury trial is set to begin Sept. 18 in Galveston, about 50 miles south of Houston.