Jury Finds in Favor of Actor Kevin Costner
A federal jury has found in favor of actor Kevin Costner in a lawsuit filed against him by fellow actor Stephen Baldwin over a BP cleaning contract.
The suit was filed by Baldwin and a New Orleans businessman. They claimed Costner and others tricked them out of millions of dollars in a dispute stemming from the 2010 Gulf oil spill.
Baldwin and Spyridon Contogouris had said Costner fooled them into selling their stock in a company that made oil spill cleanup machines the same week that BP placed a $52 million order for the technology.
The decision against Baldwin was made Thursday evening.
"The jury was doing their best to understand everything in a ... seemingly complicated issue," Costner said.
Baldwin's attorney, James Cobb, said he was disappointed with the decision.
The oil separation technology was developed in the 1990s by a company created by Costner, but Baldwin became involved while in New Orleans to produce a documentary about the Deepwater Horizon spill in the Gulf of Mexico in May 2010.
Baldwin and Contogouris decided to sell their stock soon after getting it because of differences with other shareholders, according to the lawsuit. They signed an agreement to sell their shares to Patrick Smith, who then transferred them to a company partly owned by Costner, on June 11, 2010.
BP announced on June 15, 2010, it would lease 32 machines from the company.