BP Wants an Amended Ruling or New Trial

     NEW ORLEANS (CN) – BP says a federal judge’s ruling last month that it had acted with gross negligence with regard to the Deepwater Horizon oil spill disaster was based on testimony that had been “appropriately excluded from evidence.”
     That ruling could wind up costing the oil company upwards of $18 billion in environmental fines .
     BP has asked the federal judge overseeing the consolidated oil spill litigation to change his ruling or issue a new trial.
     U.S. District Judge Carl Barbier ruled September 4 that BP’s gross negligence caused the April 20, 2010, oil spill off the coast of Louisiana that killed 11 and sent 5.4 million barrels of oil gushing into the Gulf of Mexico.
     BP’s motion, filed late Thursday, says Barbier’s ruling improperly relied on expert testimony from a witness for Halliburton that had been excluded from the record. The testimony related to the effectiveness of the cement Halliburton used to seal the Macondo well.
     BP’s document notes that although Barbier’s ruling found that the cement used to seal the well was unstable, the instability of the cement did not cause the explosion.
     BP asked Barbier to amend the ruling to exclude the originally excluded testimony, saying there is “no evidence in the record to support this weakened-casing element, which is central to the casing-breach theory.”
     Attorneys for either side did not immediately respond to requests for comment.

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