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Costner sued over oil cleanup system

  |   Feb. 14, 2011 at 12:10 PM
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NEW ORLEANS, Feb. 14 (UPI) -- U.S. actors Stephen Baldwin and Kevin Costner are at odds over an oil-spill containment technology.

Baldwin and an associate have filed a complaint in New Orleans federal court, asserting they were misled into cashing out of Ocean Therapy Solutions, which leased 32 centrifugal oil separators to BP, the Los Angeles Times reported. Costner helped arrange the deal.

During the Gulf oil disaster, Costner appeared before Congress, urging the industry to employ a technology he had nurtured for years. But few knew that he did not own Ocean Therapy and was just its celebrity salesman, the report said.

The centrifuges dubbed the "Costner solution" were hardly used in the cleanup and have been dismantled, said BP spokeswoman Hejdi Feick.

Costner sold his centrifuge company, CINC Industries, in 2004. The lawsuit and interviews reveal that Ocean Therapy Solutions was formed days after the Deepwater Horizon explosion with exclusive rights to market CINC machines to BP. Baldwin and Spyridon Contogouris had 10 and 28 percent stakes, respectively, in OTS.

They later sold their interests after being told BP had not placed an order for the separators, the suit alleges. They say they would not have done so had they known BP was leasing them.

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