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Gulf oil spill trial delayed for settlement talks

February 27, 2012 • Business


FILE – In this April 21, 2010 photo provided by the U.S. Coast Guard, fire boat response crews spray water on the burning remnants of BP’s Deepwater Horizon offshore oil rig. The gargantuan legal bill for the 2010 catastrophic oil spill in the Gulf of Mexico is coming due for BP as a federal trial opens Monday, Feb. 27, 2012 to determine the company’s liability for the blowout of its Macondo well. On the cusp of trial, phalanxes of lawyers, company officials and state officials spent the final hours in high-stakes settlement talks that law experts believed could still yield a deal right before the courtroom doors open Monday morning. (AP Photo/US Coast Guard, File)

NEW ORLEANS (AP) — A judge has delayed the federal trial over the nation’s worst offshore oil disaster by a week, saying Sunday that BP PLC was making some progress in settlement talks with a committee overseeing scores of lawsuits, according to people close to the case.

Two people close to the case told The Associated Press that the decision was made Sunday during a conference call between parties in the Gulf of Mexico oil spill case and U.S. District Judge Carl Barbier. They spoke on condition of anonymity because they were not authorized to discuss the call.

They said the judge told those on the call that BP and the Plaintiffs’ Steering Committee were “making some progress” in their settlement talks. The steering committee is overseeing lawsuits filed by individuals and businesses following the explosion on the Deepwater Horizon rig on April 20, 2010, in the Gulf. The blast killed 11 workers and led to 206 million gallons of oil spewing from the blown-out well, soiling miles of coastline.

However, the judge did not mention the Login to read more

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