Shareholders of the offshore rig contractor Transocean have refused to discharge company directors and management from liability for their activities in 2010.
The Zug-registered company owned the Deepwater Horizon rig which drillied the well for BP in the Gulf of Mexico that blew out in April 2010, causing the worst oil spill in US history.
Had the discharge motion been approved at the annual general meeting on Friday, it would have protected the directors and managers from being sued by shareholders.
In another vote at the meeting, shareholders approved a dividend of about $1 billion (SFr890 million).
A company news release said the money would be paid out of additional paid-in capital.
Transocean had planned such a payout last August, but the Zug Commercial Court prevented it, citing pending litigation over the oil spill. The company, which originally intended to take the case to Switzerland’s highest court, has taken advantage of a change in tax law to avoid the legal process.
In April 2011 Transocean awarded most of its senior managers safety bonunes for "significantly improving the company's safety record". The managers later said they would donate the money to victims of the Deepwater Horizon disaster.
Transocean moved its headquarters and corporate home to Switzerland in early 2009 from Houston and the Cayman Islands.