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Gulf spill trial: Claim dropped against contractor

Michael Kunzelman, Associated Press

NEW ORLEANS (AP) -- A federal judge has dismissed all claims against BP's drilling fluids contractor on the rig that exploded in the Gulf of Mexico in 2010, killing 11 workers and triggering the nation's worst offshore oil spill.

After plaintiffs rested their case Wednesday in the trial over the Gulf oil spill, U.S. District Judge Carl Barbier ruled there was no evidence that the contractor, M-I LLC, made any decision that led to the blowout of BP's well .

Barbier also agreed to rule out punitive damages against Cameron International, the manufacturer of a blowout preventer on the ill-fated rig.

The trial continues with more testimony by witnesses for rig owner Transocean Ltd, whose chief executive testified Tuesday. The energy giant BP and Halliburton also will call their own witnesses.