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At the monthly status conference on Friday, U.S. Judge Carl J. Barbier said he has not yet issued a formal trial plan, but it "is essentially going to be the proposed trial plan that Anadarko submitted a while back," which breaks the trial into three phases.
The initial "incident phase" of the trial will examine the role of the various defendants in the loss of well control, the explosion and sinking of the Deepwater Horizon drilling rig and the initiation of the flow of oil.
U.S. District Judge Carl Barbier ruled Friday that Transocean cannot sue the U.S. government for fault in the Deepwater Horizon blowout, as Uncle Sam has sovereign immunity.
Also addressed in oral argument were terms of BP contracts with Vessels of Opportunity (VoO) participants who chartered their boats to BP to work in the cleanup.
Several thousand VoO participants have sued BP, saying BP kept them and their boats on standby, in some instances for several months, but failed to pay their wages or for the charters. Many say BP promised to decontaminate their boats after the work was done, but failed to do so.
During oral argument, Barbier asked for clarification of the contracts the VoO plaintiffs signed and what they expected from BP in return.