BP engineer cites privilege over e-mails with wife


NEW ORLEANS – The BP engineer who described the oil giant’s blown-out well as a “nightmare well” six days before the Gulf of Mexico rig explosion says e-mails he exchanged with his wife are privileged.

A federal magistrate judge wants Brian Morel’s attorney and lead attorneys for plaintiffs suing BP to file arguments about why the materials should or should not be disclosed.

In an order Wednesday, the judge gave Morel’s attorney until March 9 to respond and the plaintiffs lawyers until March 14. Neither side would comment to The Associated Press. BP wouldn’t say if Morel and his wife still work for the company.

In August, Morel asserted his Fifth Amendment right against self-incrimination and refused to testify before a federal panel investigating the April 20, 2010, disaster.

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Stuart H. Smith is an attorney based in New Orleans fighting major oil companies and other polluters.
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