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Saturday, April 30, 2011

Businesses covered in 'Make My Day' Law

Businesses covered in 'Make My Day' Law
A new state law gives civil and criminal immunity to business people and their employees who use deadly force in the face of life-threatening criminals.

But the law may not protect corporate owners from lawsuits, and at least one large local business is telling its employees to leave their guns at home anyway.

Gov. Mary Fallin signed House Bill 1439 into law Monday.
<span class="mugshot">SELF DEFENSE<br /></span><b>Gov. Mary Fallin:</b> The governor signed a bill into law that allows business owners and employees to defend themselves using deadly force.
Gov. Mary Fallin: The governor signed a bill into law that allows business owners and employees to defend themselves using deadly force.

The extension of the state's "Make My Day" law includes business owners, managers and employees among those who are allowed to use deadly force against people who are illegally forcing their way into a business or are trying to do so. Previously, the law only covered people protecting their homes.

Though the bill includes business owners among those presumed to have acted in self-defense when deadly force is used under certain circumstances, the portion of the law that discusses civil and criminal immunity only refers to "a person who uses force."

The law never specifically addresses corporate owners of businesses where deadly force is used.

Rep. Steve Vaughn, R-Ponca City, author of the bill, said he thinks the law covers corporate owners, but it may take a court ruling to determine that.

"Here's the bottom line: Anybody can sue for anything," Vaughn said.

Rep. Mike Ritze, R-Broken Arrow, a co-sponsor of the measure, said he considered the corporate issue, but wanted to start by protecting small-business owners.

"We felt like we would start with the small-business owners first," Ritze said. "It's primarily intended to protect the mom-and-pop owners."

Small businesses are most at risk of violent crimes and needed the protections, he said.

The law could be expanded to cover corporate owners in the future, if there is a need, he said.

Whether corporate owners are covered or not, the spokesman for Tulsa's dominant convenience store chain said its no-weapons policy isn't changing.

"Our employees are not allowed to bring any kind of weapons (to work), and that is not going to change," said Mike Thornbrugh, spokesman for QuikTrip.

The company believes that outstanding training of employees, limiting the amount of money kept in cash registers, using the best monitoring equipment available, and maintaining high-traffic, well-lit locations that attract police officers as customers are better deterrents to armed robberies than weapons, he said.

Armed robberies of QuikTrips are rare because criminals know the company's policies make such attempts a high-risk, low-reward situation, he said.

On the rare occasions that there are robberies, the company instructs its workers to comply with the robber's demands.

Resisting a robber to save a few dollars or a carton of cigarettes and risking lives makes no sense, he said.

Life "is where our value is, not on merchandise or money," he said.

On the other hand, Ken Statton, owner of M & M Manufacturing, said he was pleased with the governor's decision.

On at least two occasions he has faced potentially violent situations involving disgruntled former employees. He said he keeps a gun at his business.

Extending greater legal protections to business owners who have to act quickly to defend themselves and their employees makes sense, he said.

In robbery situations, Tulsa police Sgt. Dave Walker said the robber has the advantage of surprising his victim, leaving few opportunities to do anything about it.

If a worker sees a robber coming and has a chance to react, several issues need to be considered, he said.

"If you are prepared and trained and willing to kill somebody, then you now legally can take that type of action, but each business has to make that decision: Whether they want their employees to do that or not. I would say most of them are saying, 'No.' "

"One of the things you have to think about - before you put a gun on - is if you're going to pull it out in that situation, you have to be willing to use it," Walker said.

Vaughn said now that the law is in place, it is important for employers to have discussions with their employees about what to do in a life-threatening circumstance.

Some businesses may decide to train their employees in how and when to use weapons, and other companies may decide to instruct their workers not to resist robbers.

He compared it to standing in an airplane: There's no reason to consider jumping out of the airplane until after you have a parachute on.

'Make My Day' now includes workplace

Friday, April 29, 2011

Calif. Lawmakers Seek Liquefaction as Alternative to Cremation

Calif. Lawmakers Seek Liquefaction as Alternative to Cremation
By Tori Richards

It sounds like the stuff of horror movies -- placing a body in a steel tube and then covering it with a mixture of water and acid until most of the remains are liquefied.

But it's actually a scientific process called alkaline hydrolysis that is on track toward becoming an alternative to cremation in California. Lawmakers are unanimously supporting a bill that would legalize the procedure with heavy oversight at mortuaries and funeral homes. Last year Florida passed a similar law, but no business has a license to perform the procedure.

California Assemblyman Jeff Miller sponsored the bill when he learned that it was an eco-friendly alternative to cremation.

"California is famous for going green, not only just as a way of life but as a way of taking care of loved ones in end of life," said Miller's legislative director, Johannes Escudero.

The decomposition process occurs with water and potassium hydroxide, which is then heated for at least three hours. Tissue and organs are dissolved into the liquid, while the bone is left behind as an ashy mixture similar to a cremation. The leftover water is treated and then flushed down a drain.

The process is pollution free because it releases no greenhouse gases into the air.

Escudero told AOL News that people should not get caught up in the logistics of the operation.

"The idea of dumping someone down the drain is a misnomer. It creates the idea that you are dumping Grandma down the drain, and that's not the case at all," he said. "There is nothing more inhumane than burning a body, which is the case with cremation."

Only three places in the nation conduct this procedure on humans as a way to dispose of cadavers used for scientific research -- the University of Southern California, the University of Florida and the Mayo Clinic in Minnesota.

A fourth, Edwards Funeral Service in Columbus, Ohio, has been using alkaline hydrolysis for two months without a permit. Last month state officials ordered owner Jeff Edwards to stop using alkaline hydrolysis process; Edwards says he plans to sue.

The procedure has at least one detractor.

"We believe this process, which enables a portion of human remains to be flushed down a drain, to be undignified," Patrick McGee, a spokesman for the Roman Catholic Diocese of Manchester, N.H., told The Associated Press.

Thursday, April 28, 2011

Here come the lawyers: First lawsuit against Sony

Here come the lawyers: First lawsuit against Sony over PlayStation hack

Sony’s PR nightmare over its hacked PlayStation Network just took its next logical step: the first lawsuit being filed against the company. If you haven’t been following, Sony’s PlayStation Network has been downfor over a week now, with the console maker finally admitting on Tuesday that user information and credit card numbers may have been compromised.
That’s left around 77 million PSN users with potentially stolen credit card details, and PS3 owner Kristopher Johns of Birmingham, Alabama is the first to take action, accusing Sony of not taking “reasonable care to protect, encrypt, and secure the private and sensitive data of its users.”
He also claims the company took too long to warn consumers their data has been exposed. Johns says Sony did not allow customers “to make an informed decision as to whether to change credit card numbers, close the exposed accounts, check their credit reports, or take other mitigating actions.” As Sony knew about personal information being accessed for five days before it ‘fessed up, I’m right with him there.
The lawsuit is asking for monetary compensation and free credit card monitoring, and gawd knows where all this will end.

Tuesday, April 26, 2011

Judge Deals Big Blow to NFL Owners

Legal expert: Players far from goal line
By Dennis Dillon

The NFL players advanced the ball in their labor battle with the owners Monday. U.S. District Court Judge Susan Richard Nelson granted the players their motion for a preliminary injunction that lifts the lockout imposed by owners when negotiations for a new collective bargaining agreement collapsed on March 11.
But it’s premature for the players to do any celebratory dancing.
“The players basically started on their own 20-yard line and I think they’ve just made a first down,” said Gary Roberts, dean of Indiana University School of Law-Indianapolis. “But they’ve still got a long way to go to get to the goal line.”
As both sides try to wrap their hands around Judge Nelson’s ruling, here’s what figures to happen next.
A swift appeal. The owners will request Nelson to stay her ruling until they can make arguments before the United States Court of Appeals for the 8th Circuit. If Nelson turns the owners down, they will go to the 8th Circuit and ask for a stay while they appeal it.
The NFL and the NFL Players Association are far from a complete outcome in this NFL labor mess, Dennis Dillon says. (AP Photo)
“Whether the stay is granted or not, I’m sure the 8th Circuit will hear an expedited appeal,” Roberts said. “The court will set a briefing schedule, there will be oral arguments after the briefs are filed, and then we’ll get an opinion on the appeal.”
An interpretation of what Nelson’s ruling means for NFL operations. Right now, it’s not clear what will happen, and how soon it will happen, though league spokesman Greg Aiello said Monday night that players will be admitted to team facilities. As for the clubs, will they be allowed to start signing free agents?
“We know she’s ordered the league to do something,” Roberts said, “but it’s not clear what they can or cannot do going forward now that they have to operate.”
More meetings. Owners and players are scheduled to meet again May 16, four days after U.S. Federal Judge David Doty holds a hearing on whether players should receive damages in their related fight with owners over $4 billion in broadcast revenue.
One thing is certain: This labor impasse is far from settled.
“You just don’t know what’s going to happen here,” Roberts said. “There are so many possibilities.”

Monday, April 25, 2011

Leaked Files Shed Light on Gitmo Detainees

Leaked Files Shed Light on Gitmo Detainees
WASHINGTON -- Secret documents about detainees at the Guantanamo Bay prison reveal new information about some of the men that the United States believes to be terrorists, according to reports about the files released by several American and European newspapers. The U.S. government criticized the publication as "unfortunate."

The military detainee assessments were made public Sunday night by U.S. and European newspapers after the WikiLeaks website obtained the files. The records contain details of the more than 700 detainee interrogations and evidence the U.S. had collected against these suspected terrorists, according to the media outlets.

It's not clear if the media outlets published the documents with the consent of WikiLeaks.

The files - known as Detainee Assessment Briefs or DABs - describe the intelligence value of the detainees and whether they would be a threat to the U.S. if released. To date, 604 detainees have been transferred out of Guantanamo while 172 remain locked up.

The disclosures are likely to provide human right activists with additional ammunition that some cases against inmates appear to be based on flawed evidence. However, the DABs show certain inmates were more dangerous than previously known to the public and could complicate efforts by the U.S. to transfer detainees out of the controversial prison that President Barack Obama has failed to close.

The dossiers provide new insights into some of the prison's most notorious detainees such as Khalid Sheikh Mohammed. According to The New York Times, Mohammed, the alleged mastermind of the 9/11 attacks, commanded a Maryland resident to kill Pakistan's former present Pervez Musharraf.

Another high-value detainee, Abd al-Rahim al-Nashiri, bragged that he outranked Mohammed who was then considered the terrorist group's No.3. Al-Nashiri faces charges before a military commission for his suspected role in the 2000 bombing of the USS Cole. According to The Times, Al-Nashiri was also consumed with jihad and believed women were a distraction.

He was so "dedicated to jihad that he reportedly received injections to promote impotence and recommended the injections to others so more time could be spent on the jihad," according to al-Nashiri's file.

U.S. officials said the documents "may or may not represent the current view of a given detainee" and criticized the decision by media organizations to publish the "sensitive information."

"It is unfortunate that several news organizations have made the decision to publish numerous documents obtained illegally by WikiLeaks concerning the Guantanamo detention facility," said Ambassador Daniel Fried, the Obama administration's special envoy on detainee issues, and Pentagon press secretary Geoff Morrell.

The classified files contain rare pictures of many of the inmates. One shows Abu Zubaydah, who has been described as al-Qaida's "travel agent," sporting a beard and an eye patch. Zubaydah was captured in Pakistan in 2002 and taken to several CIA black sites overseas until he was transferred to Guantanamo in 2006 for the second and last time.

The files do not mention what happened to Zubaydah and others while they were in CIA custody. Zubaydah and Mohammed were both waterboarded dozens of times by CIA interrogators.

The Washington Post reported that the DABs offered new details about the movement of Osama bin Laden and top deputy Ayman al-Zawahiri after the 9/11 attacks and the internal disputes that erupted within the terrorist organization.

Many of the 704 assessments are riddled with ambiguous language. A Times analysis shows the word "possibly" is used 387 times.

Sunday, April 24, 2011

NY Child Pornography Case Underscores Wi-Fi Privacy Dangers

NY Child Pornography Case Underscores Wi-Fi Privacy Dangers

By Carolyn Thompson

BUFFALO, N.Y. -- Lying on his family room floor with assault weapons trained on him, shouts of "pedophile!" and "pornographer!" stinging like his fresh cuts and bruises, the Buffalo homeowner didn't need long to figure out the reason for the early morning wake-up call from a swarm of federal agents.

That new wireless router. He'd gotten fed up trying to set a password. Someone must have used his Internet connection, he thought.

"We know who you are! You downloaded thousands of images at 11:30 last night," the man's lawyer, Barry Covert, recounted the agents saying. They referred to a screen name, "Doldrum."

"No, I didn't," he insisted. "Somebody else could have but I didn't do anything like that."

"You're a creep ... just admit it," they said.

Law enforcement officials say the case is a cautionary tale. Their advice: Password-protect your wireless router.

Plenty of others would agree. The Sarasota, Fla. man, for example, who got a similar visit from the FBI last year after someone on a boat docked in a marina outside his building used a potato chip can as an antenna to boost his wireless signal and download an astounding 10 million images of child porn, or the North Syracuse, N.Y., man who in December 2009 opened his door to police who'd been following an electronic trail of illegal videos and images. The man's neighbor pleaded guilty April 12.

For two hours that March morning in Buffalo, agents tapped away at the homeowner's desktop computer, eventually taking it with them, along with his and his wife's iPads and iPhones.

Within three days, investigators determined the homeowner had been telling the truth: If someone was downloading child pornography through his wireless signal, it wasn't him. About a week later, agents arrested a 25-year-old neighbor and charged him with distribution of child pornography. The case is pending in federal court.

It's unknown how often unsecured routers have brought legal trouble for subscribers. Besides the criminal investigations, the Internet is full of anecdotal accounts of people who've had to fight accusations of illegally downloading music or movies.

Whether you're guilty or not, "you look like the suspect," said Orin Kerr, a professor at George Washington University Law School, who said that's just one of many reasons to secure home routers.

Experts say the more savvy hackers can go beyond just connecting to the Internet on the host's dime and monitor Internet activity and steal passwords or other sensitive information.

A study released in February provides a sense of how often computer users rely on the generosity - or technological shortcomings - of their neighbors to gain Internet access.

The poll conducted for the Wi-Fi Alliance, the industry group that promotes wireless technology standards, found that among 1,054 Americans age 18 and older, 32 percent acknowledged trying to access a Wi-Fi network that wasn't theirs. An estimated 201 million households worldwide use Wi-Fi networks, according to the alliance.

The same study, conducted by Wakefield Research, found that 40 percent said they would be more likely to trust someone with their house key than with their Wi-Fi network password.

For some, though, leaving their wireless router open to outside use is a philosophical decision, a way of returning the favor for the times they've hopped on to someone else's network to check e-mail or download directions while away from home .

"I think it's convenient and polite to have an open Wi-Fi network," said Rebecca Jeschke, whose home signal is accessible to anyone within range.

"Public Wi-Fi is for the common good and I'm happy to participate in that - and lots of people are," said Jeschke, a spokeswoman for the Electronic Frontier Foundation, a San Francisco-based nonprofit that takes on cyberspace civil liberties issues.

Experts say wireless routers come with encryption software, but setting it up means a trip to the manual.

The government's Computer Emergency Readiness Team recommends home users make their networks invisible to others by disabling the identifier broadcasting function that allows wireless access points to announce their presence. It also advises users to replace any default network names or passwords, since those are widely known, and to keep an eye on the manufacturer's website for security patches or updates.

People who keep an open wireless router won't necessarily know when someone else is piggybacking on the signal, which usually reaches 300-400 feet, though a slower connection may be a clue.

For the Buffalo homeowner, who didn't want to be identified, the tip-off wasn't nearly as subtle.

It was 6:20 a.m. March 7 when he and his wife were awakened by the sound of someone breaking down their rear door. He threw a robe on and walked to the top of the stairs, looking down to see seven armed people with jackets bearing the initials I-C-E, which he didn't immediately know stood for Immigration and Customs Enforcement.

"They are screaming at him, 'Get down! Get down on the ground!' He's saying, 'Who are you? Who are you?'" Covert said.

"One of the agents runs up and basically throws him down the stairs, and he's got the cuts and bruises to show for it," said Covert, who said the homeowner plans no lawsuit. When he was allowed to get up, agents escorted him and watched as he used the bathroom and dressed.

The homeowner later got an apology from U.S. Attorney William Hochul and Immigration and Customs Enforcement Special Agent in Charge Lev Kubiak.

But this wasn't a case of officers rushing into the wrong house. Court filings show exactly what led them there and why.

On Feb. 11, an investigator with the Department of Homeland Security, which oversees cybersecurity enforcement, signed in to a peer-to-peer file sharing program from his office. After connecting with someone by the name of "Doldrum," the agent browsed through his shared files for videos and images and found images and videos depicting children engaged in sexual acts.

The agent identified the IP address, or unique identification number, of the router, then got the service provider to identify the subscriber.

Investigators could have taken an extra step before going inside the house and used a laptop or other device outside the home to see whether there was an unsecured signal. That alone wouldn't have exonerated the homeowner, but it would have raised the possibility that someone else was responsible for the downloads.

After a search of his devices proved the homeowner's innocence, investigators went back to the peer-to-peer software and looked at logs that showed what other IP addresses Doldrum had connected from. Two were associated with the State University of New York at Buffalo and accessed using a secure token that UB said was assigned to a student living in an apartment adjacent to the homeowner. Agents arrested John Luchetti March 17. He has pleaded not guilty to distribution of child pornography.

Luchetti is not charged with using his neighbor's Wi-Fi without permission. Whether it was illegal is up for debate.

"The question," said Kerr, "is whether it's unauthorized access and so you have to say, 'Is an open wireless point implicitly authorizing users or not?'

"We don't know," Kerr said. "The law prohibits unauthorized access and it's just not clear what's authorized with an open unsecured wireless."

In Germany, the country's top criminal court ruled last year that Internet users must secure their wireless connections to prevent others from illegally downloading data. The court said Internet users could be fined up to $126 if a third party takes advantage of their unprotected line, though it stopped short of holding the users responsible for illegal content downloaded by the third party.

The ruling came after a musician sued an Internet user whose wireless connection was used to download a song, which was then offered on an online file sharing network. The user was on vacation when the song was downloaded.

Saturday, April 23, 2011

Florida dad tells 911 toddler fatally shot mom

Florida dad tells 911 toddler fatally shot mom

FORT LAUDERDALE, Fla. – Police are questioning the father of a 2-year-old boy who claims his son somehow got a hold of a pistol and shot the toddler's mother to death.
A judge gave custody of the toddler to other relatives after a hearing Friday. The father, who was not married to 33-year-old Julia Bennett but had the boy with her, was visiting her apartment when the shooting occurred Wednesday night.
The father has not been charged and police have not identified him.
The father called 911 after the shooting and said the child had somehow accessed his 9 mm semiautomatic and accidentally fired it, killing the boy's mother. Miramar Police have said the father has a concealed weapons permit for the firearm.
Bennett's family does not believe the child shot her and said the boy doesn't understand what happened.
"He misses his mother. He keeps calling `mommy, mommy'," his great aunt, Marva Anglin, said. "It's very sad."
Judge Arlene Simon ordered the boy to stay with Anglin and his great-grandmother.
Family members said Bennett worked at a hospital and was going to school. They have never met the child's father, but told the judge they did not want him in their home for supervised visits with the child.
The judge granted that request, ruling the father could have supervised visits as long as it was outside of Anglin's home.
Bennett's aunt, Valerie Thompson, said they are still reeling from her death.
"We were so devastated. We could not believe it," she said.
A telephone call and e-mail to Miramar Police was not immediately returned Friday.
The Department of Children and Families has met with Anglin's family and said they would assist with whatever services were needed, including child care.

Friday, April 22, 2011

More States Need to Go ‘Smoke-Free’

CDC: More States Need to Go ‘Smoke-Free’
Progress Seen in Reduction of Secondhand Smoke Exposure, but CDC Calls for Tougher Action

People are banned by law from smoking in bars, restaurants, and work sites in half of all states in the U.S., but more action is needed to reduce heart disease and lung cancer caused bysecondhand smoke, the CDC says in a new report.
Seven states have no statewide smoking restrictions at all for private work sites, restaurants, or bars, according to the CDC’s Morbidity and Mortality Weekly Report.
The states are:
  • Indiana
  • Kentucky
  • Mississippi
  • South Carolina
  • Texas
  • West Virginia
  • Wyoming
Restaurants, bars, and private sector work sites are major places where people are subjected to secondhand smoke, the report states.
In the past 10 years, 25 states plus Washington, D.C., have enacted comprehensive smoke-free laws restricting smoking in all indoor areas of private sector work sites, restaurants, and bars.
“Eliminating smoking from worksites, restaurants and bars is a low-cost, high-impact strategy that will protect non-smokers and allow them to live healthier, longer, more productive lives, while lowering health care costs associated with second-hand smoke,” CDC Director Thomas R. Frieden, MD, MPH, says in a news release. “While there has been a lot of progress over the past decade, far too many Americans continue to be exposed to secondhand smoke at their workplaces, increasing their risk of cancer and heart attacks.”
 Ursula Bauer, PhD, MPH, of CDC, says secondhand smoke accounts for 46,000 heart disease deaths and 3,400 lung cancer deaths among nonsmokers annually.
“Completely prohibiting smoking in all public places and workplaces is the only way to fully protect non-smokers from second-hand smoke exposure,” she says in the CDC news release.
Even though many states and local areas have passed smoke-free laws and ordinances, about 88 million nonsmoking Americans age 3 or older are still exposed to secondhand smoke, the CDC says.
According to the CDC study, four states have smoke-free laws covering two of three locations. Florida, Louisiana, and Nevada restrict smoking in work sites and restaurants but not in bars. North Carolina permits smoking on work sites, but not in bars or restaurants.
Alabama, Alaska, California, Connecticut, Georgia, Missouri, Oklahoma, and Virginia in at least one location permit smoking only in designated or ventilated areas.
The CDC says Delaware was the first state to adopt comprehensive smoke-free laws, on Dec. 2, 2002. It was followed by New York in 2003, Massachusetts in 2004, Washington and Rhode Island in 2005, and New Jersey, Colorado, Hawaii, and Ohio in 2006.
Comprehensive smoke-free laws were adopted in 2007 in Washington, D.C., Arizona, New Mexico, and Minnesota and in 2008 in Illinois, Maryland, and Iowa. In 2009, Utah, Nebraska, Vermont, Maine, and Montana followed suit, as did Michigan, Kansas, Wisconsin, and South Dakota in 2010.
The report states that the U.S. “made considerable progress during the past decade” in prohibiting smoking or limiting it in various areas. The CDC says 47.8% of U.S. residents are protected to some degree by comprehensive state or local smoke-free laws.
The federal government’s “Healthy People 2020” goals call for all states to have laws on smoke-free indoor air in public places and work sites.

Thursday, April 21, 2011

BP Sues Rig Owner for $40B - Blames It for Disaster

BP Sues Rig Owner for $40B - Blames It for Disaster
By Harry R. Weber

NEW ORLEANS -- BP on Wednesday sued the maker of the device that failed to stop last year's calamitous Gulf oil spill and the owner of the rig that exploded, alleging that negligence by both helped cause the disaster.

The British company said in papers filed in federal court in New Orleans that it is suing rig owner Transocean for at least $40 billion in damages, accusing it of causing last year's deadly blowout in the Gulf of Mexico that led to the worst offshore oil spill in U.S. history. BP says every single safety system and device and well control procedure on the Deepwater Horizon rig failed.

off shore oil rig Deepwater Horizon.
US Coast Guard / AP
BP filed papers in a federal court in New Orleans on Wednesday suing rig owner Transocean and Cameron, the maker of the blowout preventer. The oil company claims negligence by both helped cause the disaster.
It also is suing Cameron International, which provided a blowout preventer with a faulty design, which caused an unreasonable amount of risk that harm would occur.

The lawsuits, filed on the first anniversary of the explosion that led to the spill, seeks damages to help BP pay for the tens of billions of dollars in liabilities it has incurred from the disaster.

Though BP has estimated its liabilities at $40.9 billion, it still could face tens of billions of dollars more in civil and criminal fines and penalties from the U.S. government.

"The Deepwater Horizon BOP was unreasonably dangerous, and has caused and continues to cause harm, loss, injuries, and damages to BP (and others) stemming from the blowout of Macondo well, the resulting explosion and fire onboard the Deepwater Horizon, the efforts to regain control of the Macondo well, and the oil spill that ensued before control of the Macondo well could be regained," BP said in the lawsuit against Cameron.

BP wants the court to award the oil giant damages against Cameron and to declare that the device maker caused or contributed to the disaster and is responsible for some or all costs incurred by BP.

Eleven people were killed when the Deepwater Horizon rig exploded on April 20, 2010, leading to more than 200 million gallons of oil spewing from an undersea well.

A testing firm hired by the government determined last month the blowout preventer had a faulty design. But it also cited other problems related to rig crew actions.

BP said in a statement that it wants Transocean to pay its "proportionate" share of all damages and liabilities from the disaster. A Transocean spokesman did not immediately respond to an email seeking comment.

Houston-based Cameron noted in a statement emailed to AP that Wednesday was the deadline under the relevant statute for all parties to file claims against each other.

"It is not surprising that the companies are filing to protect their indemnity rights (except in the case of BP) and whatever claims they believe they have," Cameron said. "Additionally, in order to protect ourselves, we, too, have filed crossclaims and counterclaims, including our indemnity claims, against other parties to the litigation."

Cameron, one of the largest makers of blowout preventers, has defended the integrity of its devices and workmanship.

Also Wednesday, Transocean filed court papers demanding that judgments be made against BP, Cameron and other companies in its favor. Among other things, Transocean wants a judgment against BP for $12.9 million and a judgment against cement contractor Halliburton and other companies for $20 million.

Transocean said the figures stem from contractual obligations and the money it lost when the rig sank.