Opening arguments were heard on Wednesday in the trial of a former BP supervisor over the 2010 Deepwater Horizon oil rig disaster, according to the Associated Press.
Robert Kaluza was accused in the prosecutor’s opening statement of ignoring danger signs of a negative pressure test before the rig exploded with the loss of 11 lives. The well blowout led to a huge oil spill into the Gulf of Mexico, a spill that took nearly three months to cap.
The trial is being held in US District Court in New Orleans and has been allocated 13 days for proceedings.
Kaluza is facing a single misdemeanor charge under the Clean Water Act and, if convicted, could face a year in jail.
A co-defendant on the same charge, Donald Vidrine, has already made a deal with prosecutors. Also, a manslaughter case against both men was dropped previously.
Kaluza’s lawyer, in his opening, said his client is charged with something he did not commit, laying more responsibility on Vidrine and on the BP and rig owner Transocean for failing to do adequate maintenance work.
BP has already paid out multiple billions in federal penalties and damages relating to the Deepwater Horizon.