Transocean Worker Won't Testify In Civil Suits

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Jimmy Wayne Harrell, the top-ranking Transocean staffer aboard the Deepwater Horizon rig when the rig exploded in April 2010, killing 11 workers and creating the largest oil spill in U.S. history, will not testify in civil suits related to the spill, according to updated court filings.

Harrell, the rig's offshore installation manager, was scheduled to give a deposition in the case on July 11, according to Fuel Fix. New court documents filed yesterday indicated that if put on the stand, Harrell would likely exercise his Fifth Amendment rights against self-incrimination.

It is not clear if Harrell will be required to show up at the deposition or if his attorney will be allowed to do it in his place, Fuel Fix reported. Dozens of employees working for the companies with exposure to the spill have been deposed by lawyers for the plaintiffs over the past year, but those proceedings have been closed to the public.

Switzerland-based Transocean (RIG), the world's largest provider of offshore drilling services, was the owner of the Deepwater Horizon. BP (BP), Europe's second-largest oil company, was the rig's primary operator.