22 April 2014, News Wires – A US federal court has set the date for the start of the civil trial for the 2010 Deepwater Horizon Gulf of Mexico oil spill.
US District Judge Carl Barbier has set the opening date of the penalty phase of the trial for 20 January 2015.
The judge will hear testimony from BP and government witnesses about the UK supermajor’s liabilities in the spill.
The trial is scheduled run until 5 February 2015. Penalties under the Clean Water Act could be as high as $18 billion, the Houston Chronicle reported.
Barbier received testimony on some of the issues in two previous phases of the trial.
Attorneys for BP investors told a federal judge on Monday that BP misled the market regarding the safety of its deep-water drilling operations.
This is the second attempt to get a class certification for more than 100 institutional and individual investors to pursue a securities lawsuit against the company.
Houston-based attorney Richard Mithoff led a team which presented a model which they said could calculate damages suffered by investors.
US District Judge Keith Ellison rejected the first attempt in December.
During the hearing, the Mithoff told the judge that BP “consistently misrepresented its risk profile to investors” to keep shares artificially high, increasing investor loss when the stock price dropped after the spill.
The plaintiffs have not revealed how much they are seeking in damages.