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Rig owner not exempt from penalties

A US federal judge has ruled that the rig owner involved in drilling the ill-fated well that blew out in the Gulf of Mexico was shielded by its contract with BP from having to pay many pollution claims in the nation's largest offshore oil spill.

US District Judge Carl Barbier ruled, however, that Transocean is not exempt from paying punitive damages and civil penalties that arise from the April 20 2010, blow-out 100 miles off the Louisiana coast.

He also said Transocean is responsible for claims that are directly related to pollution caused by its rig.

Alabama attorney general Luther Strange said that the Justice Department is working with the states to create an outline for a settlement. A trial on the spill is set for next month.

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