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26 Feb 2013

Kristen Hays, Reuters

BP, contractors start trial for worst U.S. offshore spill

A long-awaited trial…began on Monday, with governments, businesses and individuals blaming BP Plc mostly for the 2010 disaster that killed 11 rig workers and spilled 4 million barrels of oil into the Gulf of Mexico. The trial is being held with no jury before Judge Carl Barbier at federal court in New Orleans…[L]iabilities could stretch into the tens of billions of dollars if Barbier determines BP or the other defendants were grossly negligent…Any punitive damages would come on top of billions in potential fines under the Clean Water Act. The payout by BP so far included a record $4.5 billion in penalties, and a guilty plea to 14 criminal counts to resolve charges from the Justice Department and civil claims from U.S. securities regulators…The second phase of the trial, expected to start in September, will focus on the flow rate of the oil that spewed from the well. The third phase in 2014 will consider damages...[Refers to Transocean, Halliburton]

Part of the following timelines

USA: Deepwater Horizon oil disaster trial begins with BP, Transocean & Halliburton defending their actions

US Deepwater Horizon explosion & oil spill lawsuits