New Orleans judge sets early-2013 trial date for Macondo incident

A New Orleans judge has scheduled an early-2013 trial date to hear liability claims for the April 2010 blowout of BP PLC’s deepwater Macondo well and the subsequent explosion and fire on Transocean Ltd.’s Deepwater Horizon semisubmersible. A massive oil spill resulted in the Gulf of Mexico.

On May 3, US District Judge Carl Barbier assigned a trial date of Jan. 14, 2013, which is more than 10 months after it was originally scheduled.

The new trial date gives BP’s attorneys more time in negotiate possible settlements with other litigants, including the US Department of Justice and BP’s former contractors.

Previously, BP agreed to a $7.8 billion settlement deal with many plaintiffs (OGJ Online, Mar. 6, 2012). Judge Barbier will make a final decision on whether to ratify the settlement Nov. 8. He has given a preliminary approval.

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