Kevin Costner Beats Baldwin Lawsuit

Jury rejects $17M fraud claim over BP deal
By Mary Papenfuss,  Newser Staff
Posted Jun 15, 2012 1:27 AM CDT
Kevin Costner Beats Baldwin Lawsuit
Stephen Baldwin arrives at Federal Court yesterday in New Orleans.   (AP Photo/Gerald Herbert)

(Newser) – It was aquaboy vs. Stephen Baldwin, and aquaboy won. A federal jury last evening tossed out a claim by Baldwin and a friend that Costner and a business partner duped them by keeping them in the dark about a multimillion-dollar deal between Costner's company, Ocean Therapy Solutions, and the BP oil company. Baldwin and Spyridon Contogouris sold their shares in Costner's company shortly before its profitable deal selling cleanup devices to BP to use in the Gulf of Mexico spill. Baldwins' lawsuit demanded $17 million in damages. After just two hours deliberating, the jury came back with their award: $0.

"My name means more to me than money and that's why we didn't settle," a smiling Costner told AP after the decision. He credited a "very smart" jury with "seeing the truth" of a complicated case. "Obviously, I'm disappointed," said Stephen Baldwin, the youngest of the four actor Baldwin brothers. Baldwin's attorney said he thought "we proved rather convincingly that these two guys defrauded us. The jury saw it a different way." The device Costner's company sold to BP is an innovative five-ton centrifuge he developed that's designed to separate water from oil, producing clean water and saving the oil. He sold 32 of the centrifuges to BP for $52 million. Baldwin sold his share of Ocean Therapy Solutions before the deal for $500,000, and Contogouris let his go for $1.4 million, reports ABC News. (Read more Kevin Costner stories.)

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