UPDATE: BP shareholder files lawsuit against corporation - WKOW 27: Madison, WI Breaking News, Weather and Sports

UPDATE: BP says its paid $3.5 million in damage claims beyond cleanup costs

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WASHINGTON (AP) -- BP's top lobbyist says the company does not view a $75 million federal cap on economic damages for oil spills as a limit to its obligations to people along the Gulf Coast.

David Nagle, head of the company's Washington office, said BP has so far paid $3.5 million in damage claims beyond cleanup costs. He said the company has received 4,700 claims so far and paid on 295 of them.

A federal law caps liability to $75 million for economic damages beyond direct cleanup costs. Nagle, speaking to reporters ahead of Senate hearings Tuesday, said the limit is not "an effective cap in terms of what we're spending." But he declined to say whether BP would lobby against efforts to increase the cap to $10 billion.

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WASHINGTON (AP) -- Oil services contractor Halliburton Inc. says it safely finished a cementing operation 20 hours before a Gulf of Mexico rig went up in flames. In testimony prepared for a congressional hearing Tuesday, Halliburton says it completed work on the well according to accepted industry practice and federal regulators.

Halliburton executive Tim Probert says a pressure test was conducted after the work was finished, and the well owner decided to continue. A copy of the testimony was obtained by The Associated Press.

The cause of the April 20 explosion is under investigation, but lawsuits filed after the disaster claim it was caused when Halliburton workers improperly capped the well -- a process known as cementing. Halliburton denies wrongdoing.

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NEW ORLEANS (WKOW) -- A BP shareholder has filed suit against the corporation's executives because of the offshore rig disaster that led to the oil spill in the Gulf of Mexico.

Filed in federal court in New Orleans on Friday, the lawsuit by Katherine Firpo of Pennsylvania accuses BP PLC of ignoring safety issues on rigs such as the Deepwater Horizon, which exploded April 20. And the suit accuses BP of pursuing cost-cutting measures at the expense of safety, while lobbying authorities to decrease safety regulation.

Among other things, the lawsuit seeks court-ordered changes in BP's corporate governance. A BP spokesman declined comment Monday.

The lawsuit is among a flurry of lawsuits filed by rig workers or their families and by fishermen and business owners claiming economic damage.

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ROBERT, La. (AP) -- Officials are saying nearly 190 miles of boom have been put out to try to contain oil spewing out of a well at the bottom of the Gulf of Mexico.

The boom is being put out along the coast to try to protect the shorelines. At Dauphin Island, Ala., a long line of materials that resembled a string of pompoms were positioned on a stretch of the shore. Dime- to golf ball-sized tar balls were discovered there Saturday.

The Coast Guard and other officials cleaning up the mess said Sunday that about 3.4 million gallons of an oil-water mix has been collected.

Crews have used nearly 309,000 gallons of chemicals to break up the oil on the water's surface.

27 News Continuing Coverage:

Authorities plan to burn thickest oil following oil rig explosion (April 28, 2010)

Coast Guard: new oil leak found in Gulf of Mexico (April 28, 2010)

No shoreline impact from oil leak in Gulf of Mexico for 3 days (April 26, 2010)

UPDATE: Coast Guard likely to call off search for missing workers (April 23, 2010)

Oil platform that suffered explosion sinks (April 22, 2010)

UPDATE: Company officials: no sign of trouble before oil drilling explosion (April 21, 2010)

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