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From the staff of the Tampa Bay Times

Avoiding BP lawsuit would be 'utopia,' Scott says at start of Panhandle tour



PANAMA CITY -- Gov. Rick Scott said agreeing on a settlement from BP for Florida without involving litigation "would be utopia."

The deadline for plaintiffs to file in a multidistrict lawsuit handled by a federal court in New Orleans against Transocean is Wednesday. Attorney General Pam Bondi announced early Tuesday that the state would let the deadline pass.

"If we could not end up in litigation that would be great," he said. "We've got to make sure our state is treated fairly. If were not it's clearly an option that we have."

His comments came after a shipyard tour Tuesday morning in Panama City. He and members of the Cabinet will meet here this afternoon to mark the one-year anniversary of the BP oil spill.

Critics had faulted Scott's team last week for not taking swift legal action against BP. Scott said the administration has been working on a plan
for a claim since he got into office.

"In the meantime, hopefully, we can sit down with BP and make sure our state is paid fairly," he said.

The oil spill isn't the only milestone anniversary Scott will mark Wednesday.

It's also his 39th wedding anniversary with wife, Ann.

Katie Sanders, Times Staff Writer

[Last modified: Tuesday, April 19, 2011 10:28am]


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