NEW ORLEANS -- A University of California-Berkeley engineer who played a prominent role in investigating levee breeches in New Orleans after Hurricane Katrina is scheduled to be the first witness Tuesday at a trial involving another Gulf Coast catastrophe: the worst offshore oil spill in U.S. history.
Robert Bea is an expert witness for the plaintiffs who sued BP PLC and other companies over the Deepwater Horizon disaster. He will share his theories about what caused BP's Macondo well to blow out in 2010, provoking a rig explosion that killed 11 workers and spewed an estimated 172 millions of gallons of crude into the Gulf.
Bea's testimony is scheduled for the second day of the trial, which could result in BP being forced to pay tens of billions of dollars more in damages.
By MICHAEL KUNZELMAN
The Associated Press