The US Justice Department has filed a suit against BP Exploration and Production and eight other firms to recover losses resulting from the Gulf of Mexico oil spill earlier this year.

The suit, filed in US District Court in New Orleans, seeks damages from BP, Transocean Holdings and Transocean Offshore Deepwater Drilling, Anadarko Petroleum and Anadarko Exploration and Production, Mitsui and Company’s MOEX Offshore 2007, Triton Asset Leasing, and BP’s insurer Lloyds of London for their actions associated with the offshore spill.

The lawsuit under the US Oil Pollution Act asks for the firms to be charged for damages beyond the $75m cap and also seeks civil penalties under the Clean Water Act.

The charges include violations of federal safety and operational regulations including failure to take precautions to secure the well before the event, and failure to use safe drilling technology to monitor the well’s condition.

It also includes allegations on failure to maintain constant surveillance, to utilise and maintain equipment and materials for safety and protection of personnel, property, natural resources and the environment.

The explosion at the Deepwater Horizon oil rig leased by BP from Transocean killed 11 workers and injured 17 others in April 2010 and oil spilled from the Macondo well amounted to 4.1 million barrels.

Anadarko and MOEX Offshore were in a partnership with BP for drilling the well in the Gulf of Mexico.