Kevin Costner wins court case against Stephen Baldwin
Washington, June 15 (ANI): A federal jury threw out a claim by Stephen Baldwin and his friend, Spyridon Contogouris, that Costner and a business partner duped them by keeping them uninformed on a multimillion-dollar deal between Costner's company, Ocean Therapy Solutions, and the oil company BP.
The 46-year-old actor and Contogouris had sold their shares in Ocean Therapy Solutions before it sold its cleanup devices to the oil company for use in the 2010 Gulf of Mexico oil spill.
According to sources, the pair's lawyer had asked the jury to award them 17 million dollars for damages but after less than two hours of deliberations, the jury awarded nothing to Baldwin and Contogouris.
The 'Dances with Wolves' star smiled and shook his lawyer's hand after the verdict and later said, "My name means more to me than money and that's why we didn't settle."
"Obviously I am disappointed with the jury's verdict," ABC news quoted Baldwin as saying in a statement.
"The facts in the case remain true and the opportunity to rectify the unjust activities of those involved is a right and freedom...," he said.
'The Flintstones in Viva Rock Vegas' star's attorney James Cobb also spoke of his disappointment.
"We're disappointed. We thought we proved rather convincingly that these two guys, Mr. Costner and [his business partner, Patrick] Smith, defrauded us. ... The jury saw it a different way but we respect the jury's verdict," Cobb said.
Baldwin, the youngest of the four Baldwin actor brothers, filed a suit in December 2010 against Costner and Smith, over profits from the technology that BP leased for the Deepwater Horizon spill.
The 57-year-old actor's device is a five-ton centrifuge designed to separate water from oil, spit out clean water and save the oil on ships, Smith said in his testimony.
The timeline of the case goes as far back as the production for Costner's film "Waterworld." Costner had starred and co-directed the science-fiction film, which bombed at the box office when it was released in 1995.
In the early 90s, he financed and oversaw the development of an oil-and-water-separation technology under the auspices of a corporation owned and managed by him called CINC Inc., an acronym for Costner in Nevada Corporation.
After the April 2010 oil spill, he made headlines again marketing his device and snagging a 52 million dollar deal with BP for 32 of his centrifuges.
"It separates oil and water at incredibly high speeds under very difficult conditions," the actor had told "Good Morning America's" Sam Champion in 2010.
The devices weren't used to cap the well but rather were designed to collect oil on the water's surface.
Baldwin has said he was bought out of Costner's company for 500,000 dollar while Contogouris was bought out for 1.4 million dollar.
According to the U.S. Coast Guard, BP reportedly never used the 32 devices that it had ordered from Costner's company. By September 2010, the well had been sealed with cement and a relief well. (ANI)
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