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Judge outlines plan for trial over Gulf oil spill [USA]

A federal judge on Friday outlined his plan for conducting a trial designed to assign percentages of fault to the companies sued over last year's deadly Deepwater Horizon rig explosion and Gulf oil spill. U.S. District Judge Carl Barbier, who oversees tens of thousands of claims spawned by the disaster, said the trial scheduled to start Feb. 27, 2012, will be held in three phases. The first phase will focus on causes of the well blowout, rig blast and release of oil. Barbier called this the "incident phase." The second phase deals with efforts to stop the gusher and quantify how much oil spilled from the well owned by BP...The third phase will include testimony about spill cleanup. Barbier will preside over the trial without a jury. [also refers to Transocean]

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