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18 Jan 2012

Montgomery Advertiser [USA]

Strange leaves door open to Gulf Coast oil spill settlement [USA]

There's less certainty on how much, if anything, the state could collect from the firms, and how the money would be split. The [Alabama] attorney general [General Luther Strange] also suggested the possibility of a trial being avoided entirely: Strange said a number of settlement discussions were ongoing between the parties. "I'm not opposed to a settlement," he said. "It will all depend on whether it's fair or not." Former Attorney General Troy King sued BP and other companies and contractors over the oil spill in August 2010, accusing the companies of damaging the state's economy and coastline through negligence...Attempts to obtain comment from BP were unsuccessful...Trial before U.S. District Judge Carl Barbier is set to begin Feb. 27. The trial will move in three phases: First, a phase that will determine the causes of the blowout; second, a phase that will focus on efforts to stop the oil leak from the floor and the Gulf; and finally a phase dealing with the oil spill cleanup.Liability for the incident among the companies would be determined on a percentage basis.