By DiMarkco Chandler
Oil companies took the legal oxygen out of the air last week as Stephen Baldwin was on the short end of justice. We learned that Kevin Costner will not have to pay Stephen Baldwin a nickel in his lawsuit against the actor. In December 2010, Baldwin filed a $3.8 million lawsuit against Costner, claiming that the “I Will Always Love You” costar hid information that was essential to his investment in Costner’s oil separation machines company and subsequent contract that consummated after Baldwin and his partner, Spyridon Contourgis, sold their shares. Specifically, Baldwin asserted that if he had known that BP had put a $52 million order in for the devices, he would have held on to his shares. Nevertheless, the jury did not see it that way and ruled in favor of Costner, leaving Baldwin and Contourgis empty handed.
The case drew national media attention. Source say that Baldwin attempted to settle the case before going to trial, however, Costner would have nothing to do with a settlement; as he puts it, “My name means more to me than money and that’s why we didn’t settle.”
Eight jurors found that Costner did nothing wrong which my leave one to ask the question; What evidence did Baldwin have if any. The more you look at the case one could arguably conclude that Baldwin might have been the one looking for a free ride. It’s human nature to wish you had not sold stock right before it was to pay off. In this case, perhaps Baldwin was playing a bad hand of poker and Costner wasn’t going to fold. In the aftermath, people might see Baldwin as the lying cheater he accused Costner of being.