Judge eyes 2011 for first oil spill trial
The first federal trial for claims filed against BP PLC by individuals and businesses affected by the massive Gulf Coast oil spill could be held next summer.
The judge presiding over more than 300 lawsuits spawned by the Deepwater Horizon rig explosion said Friday that the first "test trial" for claims filed under the 1990 Oil Pollution Act could be held as early as June 2011.
BP lawyer objected to scheduling a trial that soon, but U.S. District Judge Carl Barbier said the first trial over damages wouldn't take place until 2013 or 2014 if he adopted the company's proposed scheduling plans.
Barbier also has scheduled a separate trial in February 2012 to assign percentages of fault to BP and other companies sued over the oil spill.