Lawyers Say Transocean Shares Spill Blame

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Lawyers for victims of the Gulf of Mexico oil spill, the largest spill in U.S. history, say that Transocean, the world's largest provider of offshore drilling services, shares in the blame for the spill. The company owned the Deepwater Horizon rig, which was operated by BP.

Switzerland-based Transocean (RIG) wants to limit its financial liability for the spill to just $27 million. The company is seeking relief under a 160-year-old law that restricts maritime damages unless the vessel owner is found partially responsible for the disaster, according to Bloomberg News.

In a complaint filed today in a New Orleans federal court, lawyers for the victims allege Transocean violated or bypassed critical safety measures on the rig with disregard for the consequences. A trial that combines over 400 lawsuits is slated to begin in February 2012 in New Orleans.

BP (BP), Europe's second-largest oil company, has previously said Transocean shares in the blame for the spill. Transocean has said BP is responsible for all damages as the well's owner and operator, Bloomberg reported.