BP spill trial delayed until February 2013

HOUSTON Fri Oct 26, 2012 1:11pm EDT

BP logo is seen at a fuel station of British oil company BP in St. Petersburg, October 18, 2012. REUTERS/Alexander Demianchuk

BP logo is seen at a fuel station of British oil company BP in St. Petersburg, October 18, 2012.

Credit: Reuters/Alexander Demianchuk

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HOUSTON (Reuters) - A federal judge on Friday delayed until February 2013 the start of a massive trial to determine liability from the 2010 Deepwater Horizon oil spill, citing tourist events that will keep New Orleans' hotels booked.

U.S. District Judge Carl Barbier in New Orleans, who is presiding over a massive three-part hearing to decide liability for BP Plc.'s 2010 Gulf of Mexico spill, said the trial will begin on February 25, 2013. That trial, which had been delayed by nearly a year already due to a pending $7.8 billion settlement with private plaintiffs, had been set to get underway on January 14.

At a hearing on Friday, Barbier cited lodging difficulties arising from two huge events to be hosted in New Orleans in early 2013 -- the NFL's Super Bowl on February 3, and the Mardi Gras festival set for February 12.

Barbier declined to delay a hearing set for November 8 on a settlement BP reached with private plaintiffs in March for about $7.8 billion.

The April 20, 2010, explosion aboard the Deepwater Horizon killed 11 rig workers and unleashed a torrent of oil from the Macondo well. About 4.9 million barrels of oil spewed into the Gulf of Mexico over 87 straight days.

That oil fouled the shorelines of four Gulf Coast states and eclipsed the 1989 Exxon Valdez spill in Alaska in severity.

(Reporting by Chris Baltimore; Editing by Bob Burgdorfer)

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Comments (3)
americanguy wrote:
So they can’t have the trial because all the hotels are booked, because of tourism in the “ruined” area?
Now that’s funny.
BP is a great company unlike Exxon. BP stepped up the plate, spend huge sums of money without being forced to do it, and did the best job possible at making things right. Thanks to Bush and Congress, all BP was liable for was 75 million, but BP has spent billions.
I wish all corporations were like BP. If BP was a person, it would be an honorable gentleman.
But then again BP is not an American company, so it is not fair to compare BP from England, to American destructive greed monger corporations.
Compare the Exxon handling of the Valdez incident, to the BP incident, there are your facts. Exxon fought all awards in court for almost 20 years all the way to the Supreme Court, and will pay less than 500 million. A lot of people have died without receiving a penny because Exxon tied it up in court so long. BP has spent close to 15 BILLION dollars voluntarily to fix things, and that huge sum really boosted the economy in the area. I hate oil companies in general, but I like BP.

Oct 26, 2012 2:07pm EDT  --  Report as abuse
Florida346 wrote:
I’m just shaking my head. The judge will help BP by moving the trial to Feb for a party and yet he won’t light a fire under PJ to get out claims processed. They want us to accept a blind settlement or opt out next week. I think our side (the right people) need better lawyers. A few with a backbone to opt out.
If PJ can’t do the math to hire enough people to get the claims done by now, then he’s just another BP agent. In fact, they left most of the other people in charge – and of course we get the same results. At least as of yesterday, it was reported that someone finally had enough guts to sue Feinberg. Remember that guy? The one who got 1.25 million every month?

Oct 27, 2012 8:34am EDT  --  Report as abuse
Florida346 wrote:
@American guy. It’s not true that BP is paying claims. They are offering everyone the same amount and that “formula” was developed by them for their benefit. Come on down and actually see how many people ARE NOT HERE ! Before making comments about matters of which you have no experience, I highly suggest that you do the research first.

Oct 27, 2012 8:36am EDT  --  Report as abuse
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