Judge outlines new plan for Gulf oil spill trial

NEW ORLEANS (AP) - A federal judge has outlined a new structure
for a trial of Gulf oil spill claims that wouldn't be resolved by a
proposed class-action settlement between BP PLC and a team of
plaintiffs' attorneys.
In an order Wednesday, U.S. District Judge Carl Barbier said the
trial scheduled to start Jan. 14, 2013, will be conducted in at
least two phases.
The first phase will explore possible causes of the April 2010
well blowout that triggered a deadly rig explosion and led to the
massive oil spill. The second phase will address efforts to stop
the flow of oil from BP's Macondo well.
Barbier said he may issue partial rulings at the end of each
phase.
A trial originally scheduled to start in February was postponed
indefinitely after the settlement was announced.


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