Baldwin v. Costner in oil spill tech lawsuit

Kevin Costner is battling one of Hollywood's Baldwin brothers over technology used to clean up oil spills. 

Actor Stephen Baldwin ("The Usual Suspects") has filed a lawsuit against actor Costner over a technology that would separate oil from water in the event of a massive spill. Costner made the rounds on Capitol Hill last year touting the technology, a move that generated major press buzz. The technology became known as the “Costner solution.”

“In a complaint filed in U.S. District Court in New Orleans, Baldwin and a business associate say they were duped into cashing out their shares of Ocean Therapy Solutions, a Louisiana company that leased 32 centrifugal oil separators to BP for an estimated $52 million. Costner helped arrange the deal,” the Los Angeles Times reports.

But it turns out Costner might not have been as involved in the company that was hired to promote the technology as he let on. Costner’s lawyers are now saying the actor does not own a financial stake in the company at the center of the lawsuit and the case should be dismissed.

The Los Angeles Times says Costner “invested 15 years and about $24 million in development” of the technology. But he sold the company that manufactured the centrifuges — CINC Industries— in 2004. And while Costner became the spokesman for Ocean Therapy Solutions, the company formed to market the centrifuges just days after last year’s oil spill, he never had a financial stake in the company, the Times reports.

Baldwin, whose movie credits also include “The Flintstones in Viva Rock Vegas” and the environmentally-themed “Bio-Dome", says he was told that BP had not purchased the technology for use in the oil-spill cleanup, so he sold his share in the company marketing the technology. It turns out BP had purchased 32 centrifuges, the Times reports.