Justice Department files civil lawsuit against BP

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WASHINGTON—The U.S. Justice Department filed a civil oil-spill lawsuit Wednesday against a BP PLC unit and several other companies, the federal government’s first major legal action in the Gulf of Mexico disaster.

The other defendants are subsidiaries of Transocean Ltd., which owned and operated the Deepwater Horizon oil rig; Anadarko Petroleum Corp. and MOEX Offshore 2007, which had financial stakes in the oil well; and QBE Underwriting Ltd./Lloyd’s Syndicate 1036, a BP insurer.

Halliburton Co., which designed and pumped the cement used in the well, wasn’t named in the lawsuit.

The government’s civil claims, filed in a New Orleans federal court, seek penalties and damages under the Oil Pollution Act and the Clean Water Act.

Full story: Justice Department Sues BP Over Gulf Oil Spill