The U.S. Department of Justice is accusing oil company BP of gross negligence and a "culture of corporate recklessness,' in the 2010 Gulf of Mexico oil spill, a charge that could significantly increase the damages BP could be forced to pay in the case.

In a federal court filing Friday, the DOJ said that the Eastern District Court of Louisiana should ignore BP's argument that the Gulf region is "undergoing a robust recovery" and assess damages based on its responsibility for the explosion at the Deepwater Horizon oil rig and the resulting oil spill. The DOJ said that some of the arguments made by BP in earlier filings in the case were "plainly misleading."