Actor Stephen Baldwin and business partner sued over Kevin Costner oil spill contract

Kyle Barnett Jan. 3, 2012, 12:51pm


A New Orleans man is suing actor Stephen Baldwin and a business partner over a joint venture aimed at cleaning up parts of the BP Macondo gulf oil spill.

John Houghtaling filed suit on Dec. 21 in Orleans Parish Civil District Court against Baldwin and partner Spyro Contogouris.

According to the filing, the joint venture turned into Ocean Therapy Solutions that would target British Petroleum as a potential customer to contract the company's machines that filter oil out of affected water.

Kevin Costner is a part owner of Ocean Therapy Solutions.

However, the suit states that Contogouris revealed he had previously been under federal investigation alleging he stole millions of dollars from companies with whom he had worked previously.

The plaintiffs assert Contogouris tried to leave the venture after signing a letter of intent because he did not trust others with Ocean Therapy Solutions, did not think the machines would work and he could make more money providing the venture with customers.

Both men are alleged to have sold their ownership interests -- Baldwin for $500,000 and Contourgis for $1.4 million -- the day after BP began pursuing a contract with Ocean Therapy Solutions.

The filing is in response to a previous action by the defendants against the plaintiff and other owners of Ocean Therapy Solutions.

The defendants are accused of harassment for issuing subpoenas that are meant to harm the plaintiff.

Houghtaling is represented by James M. Wiliams of Metairie-based Gauthier, Houghtaling and Williams.

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