NEW ORLEANS (AP) - Federal prosecutors have asked a judge to dismiss involuntary manslaughter charges against two BP supervisors who worked on the rig where 11 workers died in a 2010 explosion.
NEW ORLEANS (AP) — Federal prosecutors have asked a judge to dismiss involuntary manslaughter charges against two BP supervisors who worked on the rig where 11 workers died in a 2010 explosion.
If the judge grants the request Wednesday, Robert Kaluza and Donald Vidrine would face only one count each of violating the clean water act. That charge is a misdemeanor. The court filing doesn't offer a reason for the request, saying only that dismissing the 11 manslaughter charges against each man is "in the interests of justice."
Vidrine was set to appear in federal court Wednesday morning for a change of plea hearing. There was no hearing scheduled for Kaluza.
The Deepwater Horizon rig, which London-based BP PLC leased from Houston-based Transocean Ltd., was about 48 miles from the Louisiana coast at the time of the deadly blast in April 2010. Residents up and down the coast watched in horror as oil from the spill coated birds, fouled beaches and threatened delicate fishing areas.
This summer, the global energy giant agreed to a record settlement of nearly $20 billion to states affected by the spill in hopes of bringing an end to a legal drama that has cost the company billions. At the time, the company said the settlement would bring its full obligations to an estimated $53.8 billion.
But the settlement did not affect ongoing criminal cases such as those of Vidrine and Kaluza.
Prosecutors have claimed Vidrine and Kaluza botched a key safety test and disregarded abnormally high pressure readings indicating signs of trouble ahead of the blowout of BP's Macondo well.