La. attorney general seeks trial for state claims over BP spill - FOX 8, WVUE, fox8live.com, weather, app, news, saints

La. attorney general seeks trial for state claims over BP spill

Fox 8 file Fox 8 file

NEW ORLEANS (AP) - Louisiana Attorney General James "Buddy" Caldwell's office is asking a federal judge to set a trial date for some of the state's economic loss claims against BP PLC stemming from the 2010 oil spill in the Gulf of Mexico. 

In a court filing Wednesday, Caldwell's office claims the spill cost the state more than $1 billion in lost 2010 revenue, including sales tax, income and franchise taxes. 

Caldwell says a trial over the state's 2010 lost revenue claims wouldn't interfere with a separate trial set for January that is designed to identify the causes of BP's deadly well blowout and assign percentages of fault to the companies involved in the ill-fated Deepwater Horizon drilling project. 

U.S. District Judge Carl Barbier didn't immediately rule on the request. 

BP spokesman Scott Dean said the company will respond to Caldwell's request "as directed by the court." However, Dean said in a statement that BP believes the issue was already addressed when a magistrate judge concluded in September that Louisiana's request was "claim splitting" and "inconsistent" with the existing trial plans. 

Caldwell's office argues that a trial is warranted because it says BP is ignoring its legal obligations to pay interim claims under the Oil Pollution Act of 1990. 

"Fundamental fairness requires that Louisiana be permitted to advance its claims," Caldwell's office wrote in its court filing.

(Copyright 2012 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.)

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