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BP Oil Spill Civil Trial set to begin …..Breaking….Trial delayed for a week….

 

The Associated Press ‏ @AP  (2/26/12 – 3:36PM)

BREAKING: Gulf oil spill trial delayed, allowing another week for settlement talks, people close to case say -RJJ

The civil trial is set to begin in a New Orleans Courtroom while settlement talks continue….

The Trial could set the civil penalties and percent of responsibilities for the parties involved…

In addition, the outcome of THIS matter could effect other civil suits and a possible criminal investigation by the Justice Department….

An unfair resolution could also spell political trouble in the region for the Administration……

Lawyers involved in the case said settlement talks were continuing through the weekend. Unlike Exxon, which spent two decades fighting damage claims over the 1989 Exxon Valdez tanker spill in Alaska, BP has been eager to put to rest the entire affair surrounding its ill-fated Macondo exploration well. But while opposing sides often reach agreement on the eve of trials, lawyers familiar with the case said the trial would probably move ahead. “The parties remain significantly far apart,” said one of the lawyers, on the condition of anonymity because negotiations are ongoing.

Firm numbers were hard to come by, but some sources said that the private plaintiffs group and the Justice Department were each seeking more than $25 billion in civil claims. If the Justice Department decides to file criminal charges, that would be a separate trial.

Possible outcomes

Any settlement by the Justice Department could have political impact if voters see it as not large enough given the size of the spill and of BP, still one of the world’s biggest oil giants. The associate attorney general in charge of negotiations, Thomas J. Perrelli, also oversaw talks that led to the recent $26 billion foreclosure abuse settlement with major banks. Perrelli, a law school acquaintance of President Obama, is leaving the department March 9 after three years as its No. 3 official.

If the trial moves ahead, lawyers for the plaintiffs’ steering committee and the Justice Department are expected to attack BP and rig owner Transocean, saying that their gross negligence and willful misconduct led to the blowout on the Deepwater Horizon drilling rig, which caught fire and sankApril 20, 2010, killing 11 people and eventually spilling as much as 4.9 million barrels of crude oil into the Gulf of Mexico.

If found guilty of gross negligence, BP and Transocean could have to pay $4,300 a barrel instead of $1,100 a barrel in federal fines under the Clean Water Act and Oil Pollution Act for oil that was not recaptured. (Under one scenario,BP pays $3.5 billion)

More….

Photo…Washington Post

From Politcaldog101.Com

 

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February 27, 2012 - Posted by | Blogs, Breaking News, Ecology, Government, Law, Politics, The Economy, Updates | , , ,

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