BP's civil trial, with plaintiffs seeking damages for the effects of the 2010 Gulf oil spill, gets underway in New Orleans on Monday.
The oil giant has already agreed to a $4.5-billion federal settlement for criminal charges in the 2010 Gulf oil spill.
In the civil trial, lawyers for the plaintiffs will seek to prove that BP was "grossly negligent" in events leading up to the Deepwater Horizon well explosion and oil spill.
The company says the explosion was a tragic accident, but not caused by negligence.
A court finding of "gross negligence" could mean billions more in fines for BP, including fines for violating the federal Clean Water Act.
Eleven men died on the BP well. The resulting spill affected all manner of businesses and ventures along the Gulf Coast.
A federal judge has ruled that some video-recorded testimony by former BP CEO Tony Hayward will have to be excluded from the trial. U.S. District Judge Carl Barbier ruled that certain references in the video deposition of Hayward that refer to previous BP accidents or allegations of misconduct unrelated to the 2010 accident would have to be removed.
The cort will hear private claimants, claims by states and U.S. government claims. It could last for months.