Start of oil spill trial moved to next week

Jessica M. Karmasek Feb. 27, 2012, 9:30am


NEW ORLEANS (Legal Newsline) - A federal judge has postponed the start of the Gulf oil spill trial until next week.

The trial, which was scheduled to begin Monday, will now start at 8 a.m. March 5.

In a brief one-page order filed Sunday, Judge Carl Barbier of the U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of Louisiana wrote he moved the start of the trial "for reasons of judicial efficiency and to allow the parties to make further progress in their settlement discussions."

In a statement Sunday, BP and the Plaintiffs' Steering Committee confirmed the adjournment will allow them "more time to continue settlement discussions and attempt to reach an agreement."

The steering committee is overseeing the lawsuits filed by individuals and business after the oil spill.

"BP and the PSC are working to reach agreement to fairly compensate people and businesses affected by the Deepwater Horizon accident and oil spill," they said in a joint statement.

"There can be no assurance that these discussions will lead to a settlement agreement. A further announcement will be made as appropriate."

An explosion and fire occurred on Transocean's drilling rig Deepwater Horizon, licensed to BP, on April 20, 2010, killing 11 workers and resulting in the largest offshore spill in U.S. history.

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