BP to face 'day of judgment'

Oct. 29, 2012 at 6:04 AM

NEW ORLEANS, Oct. 29 (UPI) -- Delaying a U.S. trial for British energy company BP a few weeks isn't going to postpone "the day of judgment," a lawyer for the plaintiffs said.

A Jan. 14 trial for BP for the April 2010 oil spill in the Gulf of Mexico was postponed because of events in New Orleans. U.S. District Judge Carl Barbier said the trial would be delayed six weeks to accommodate the NFL's Super Bowl and Mardi Gras, both which are during the first two weeks of February.

"It makes no sense to try and start the trial Jan. 14 then suspend it," he was quoted by Bloomberg News as saying. "We don't want to ruin everybody's holidays."

The British energy company in March agreed to pay around $7.8 billion to settle claims made for economic loss and property damage from the spill that resulted from the sinking of the Deepwater Horizon oil platform off the Louisiana coast.

If found guilty of gross negligence, BP could be fined as much as $4,300 per barrel of oil spilled. The spill, the worst accident of its kind in U.S. history, may have totaled as much as 4 million barrels.

"The day of judgment is coming," plaintiffs' attorney Steve Herman said in a statement to Bloomberg. "A few weeks of delay isn't going to matter."

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