Appeals court upholds dismissal of manslaughter charges against two BP employees

Houston: A US federal appeals court upheld a decision to drop manslaughter charges against two former BP employees in connection with the 2010 Deepwater Horizon oil rig disaster in the Gulf of Mexico that killed 11 people.

The three-judge panel agreed with a previous district court decision in 2013 that Robert Kaluza and Donald Vidrine should not face criminal charges of manslaughter because their responsibilities on the rig did not constitute the “marine operations, maintenance, and navigation” of a ship and so the federal law did not apply to them.

Kaluza and Vildrine were the two highest-ranking supervisors aboard the Horizon at the time of the explosion which sent millions of barrels of oil into the Gulf, in the worst oil disaster in US history.

They both still face involuntary manslaughter and Clean Water Act violation charges.

BP has paid more than $42 billion in charges for the disaster.

Donal Scully

With 28 years experience writing and editing for newspapers in the UK and Hong Kong, Donal is now based in California from where he covers the Americas for Splash as well as ensuring the site is loaded through the Western Hemisphere timezone.
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