A ruling & an agreement in the BP Gulf oil spill - KNOE 8 News; KNOE-TV; KNOE.com |

A ruling & an agreement in the BP Gulf oil spill

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NEW ORLEANS (KNOE 8 News & AP) - There are two developments, a court ruling and an agreement, to report this Thursday in connection with the BP Gulf oil spill.

A federal appeals court has refused to overturn a ruling that a BP rig supervisor must submit to a medical exam to determine if he is fit to be questioned under oath for civil litigation spawned by the company's Gulf oil spill.

A three-judge panel from the 5th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals ruled Thursday that it doesn't have jurisdiction to review a judge's order for BP well site leader Donald Vidrine to be examined by a court-appointed psychiatrist.

Transocean Ltd., which owned the rig that sank after an explosion killed 11 workers and triggered the massive 2010 spill, wants to question Vidrine about his actions on the Deepwater Horizon.

Vidrine and fellow BP rig supervisor Robert Kaluza were indicted in November on manslaughter charges stemming from the workers' deaths.

Also, BP today announced it has reached agreement with Cameron International Corporation, the designer and manufacturer of the Deepwater Horizon blowout preventer, to settle all claims between the companies related to the Deepwater Horizon accident and spill.

BP and Cameron have concluded that the settlement is in their mutual best interests, and the agreement is not an admission of liability by either party. Under the settlement agreement, Cameron will pay BP $250 million. BP will immediately apply the payment to the $20 billion trust it established to meet individual, business and government claims, as well as the cost of the natural resource damages.

BP and Cameron have agreed to mutual releases of potential claims against each other, and BP has agreed to indemnify Cameron for compensatory claims resulting from the accident, including claims brought relating to pollution damage stemming from the accident or any damage to natural resources.

BP's indemnity excludes civil, criminal or administrative fines and penalties, claims for punitive damages, and certain other claims. BP and Cameron will discontinue claims against each other in the Multi-District Litigation pending in New Orleans.

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