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BP Seeks To Block Expert Testimony At Gulf Coast Oil Spill Trial

According to an AP news report, British Petroleum has asked the federal judge overseeing litigation resulting from the 2010 oil spill to prevent two plaintiff expert witnesses from testifying about the alleged disregard for safety throughout the energy company in general. Reportedly, these experts were to testify that this general disregard for safety was the cause of the nation's largest oil spill.

According to AP news, BP's attempted legal maneuver was made public after a U.S. magistrate recently unsealed 30 motions regarding limiting and blocking expert testimony. According to this information, BP filed 17 motions in an attempt to block expert testimony pertinent to the cause of the well blow out.

Court records show the trial is to begin on February 27, 2012, and will determine the division of responsibility for the Gulf Coast oil spill. Other companies involved in the litigation include Cameron International, Halliburton Corp. and Anadarko Petroleum Co. Reportedly, the Justice Department filed a separate motion to block experts from testifying at trial. AP news reports that the testimony would go to several issues including: how the well was cemented, how drilling fluids were used, and how pressure tests were interpreted. Many legal authorities believe the trial well rely heavily on expert testimony.

AP news reports that if allowed, the testimony would paint BP as unrepentant company who has failed to learn lessons of previous disasters. BP has had previous mishaps, including the 2005 explosion at a BP refinery in Texas City, Texas, that killed 15 workers and injured 170 others and a major spill in 2006 from a BP pipeline in Prudhoe Bay, Alaska.

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