Oil major Total must pay damages caused by an explosion at the Buncefield oil depot in Herfordshire, the High Court has ruled.
The site, in Hemel Hemstead, England, was the scene of an explosion in 2005 which injured 40 people and left homes and businesses badly damaged.
The depot was run by Total and Chevron in a joint venture called Herfordshire Oil Storage Ltd (HOSL).
The dispute, heard at the High Court, was over a dispute between Total and joint venture Chevron as to who was liable for the agreed acts of negligence that led to the spillage and explosion.
The court ruled that Total had failed to discharge the burden of establishing that HOSL was responsible for the negligence of the supervisor.
The court also found that all those working on had contracts with Total; the terminal manager who was the most senior member of staff on site was appointed and managed by Total.
By staff writer.