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Justice Dept. Sues BP, Other Companies Over Gulf Oil Spill

The Justice Department just announced it is suing BP and eight other companies involved in this year's Gulf oil spill disaster.

It's an effort to recover billions of dollars in damages and other costs.

The other defendants in the case, the AP writes, are: "Anadarko Exploration & Production LP and Anadarko Petroleum Corp.; MOEX Offshore 2007 LLC; Triton Asset Leasing GMBH; Transocean Holdings LLC and Transocean Offshore Deepwater Drilling Inc. and Transocean Deepwater Inc.; and BP's insurer, QBE Underwriting Ltd./Lloyd's Syndicate 1036."

"We intend to prove that these violations caused or contributed to the massive oil spill," Attorney General Eric Holder said at a news conference, "and that the defendants are therefore responsible under the Oil Pollution Act for government removal costs, economic losses as well as environmental damages."

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Mark Memmott is NPR's supervising senior editor for Standards & Practices. In that role, he's a resource for NPR's journalists – helping them raise the right questions as they do their work and uphold the organization's standards.