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Oil Spill

Trial Looms in Legal Battle of Actors Kevin Costner and Stephen Baldwin re Oil Spill Cleanup Machine

Posted Jun 1, 2012 12:15 PM CDT
By Martha Neil

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Kevin Costner. s_bukley / Shutterstock.com

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Stephen Baldwin. s_bukley / Shutterstock.com

An invention spearheaded by actor Kevin Costner, who invested millions of dollars of his own money, had something of a Hollywood ending when a major oil company purchased his oil cleanup machine in a $52 million deal after the Deepwater Horizon disaster in the Gulf of Mexico.

But the lucrative BP contract also led to litigation between Costner and another big-name actor who had invested in the technology. Stephen Baldwin says he and his partner were bought out by Costner before BP anted up, cutting them out of the profit in which they should have shared, Eyewitness News reports in an article reprinted in Houma Today.

A trial is scheduled to begin Monday in federal court in New Orleans, and lawyers for both sides aren't eager to talk about the case in the meantime. However, legal analyst Chick Foret tells the station that he thinks Costner's defense strategy could focus on the money he himself put up.

"Mr. Baldwin alleges that Mr. Costner duped Mr. Baldwin and his partner into this buyout, knowing, allegedly, that the BP negotiations were on the edge of being finalized and this massive contract was about to be executed," Foret recounted. "It seems to me that maybe one of the directions Mr. Costner might go, as a defendant in this case, is that he had taken a great deal of risk as it relates to these machines and he had invested millions of dollars."

Earlier coverage:

ABAJournal.com: "Court Gives Green Light to Stephen Baldwin Suit Against Kevin Costner Over Oil Spill Cleanup Machine"

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