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Court Gives Green Light to Stephen Baldwin Suit Against Kevin Costner Over Oil Spill Cleanup Machine

Posted Jun 7, 2011 3:34 PM CDT
By Martha Neil

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In happier days, actor Kevin Costner was winning acclaim for his reported efforts, with the help of a trial attorney, to develop a vaccum-cleaner-like machine to clean up oil spills threatening to do serious environmental damage.

But news that BP was putting over $50 million into the project after the massive oil spill in the Gulf of Mexico last year was not greeted happily by fellow Hollywood celebrity and onetime investor Stephen Baldwin. In a lawsuit, he contended they were duped into selling their shares before the BP funding boosted their value, as the Guardian reported earlier this year.

Filed in federal district court in New Orleans, the suit elicited an unexpected defense from Costner, who contended that he didn't own or control the company formed to promote the technology and sought to have the litigation dismissed, recounted the Los Angeles Times, which characterized Costner's role in the project as "a celebrity salesman."

The court, however, has nixed that effort and is requiring Costner to defend the litigation, Bloomberg reports today.

Earlier coverage:

ABAJournal.com: "Kevin Costner & Trial Lawyer Partner Come to BP’s Aid With Oil Spill ‘Vacuum Cleaner’"

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