NEW ORLEANS (AP) — A trial date of Feb. 16 has been set in the complicated case against two BP supervisors charged in the deaths of workers killed when the Deepwater Horizon exploded in the Gulf of Mexico in 2010.
Robert Kaluza and Donald Vidrine face 11 federal counts of involuntary manslaughter in the case, along with a violation of the federal clean water act.
They were the top BP employees on the rig when it blew wild, killing 11 workers and starting the nation’s worst offshore oil spill.
They have pleaded not guilty. Prosecutors claim they botched a safety test and disregarded high pressure readings that were signs of trouble before the explosion.
They were indicted in 2012. The indictment originally included, in addition to the 11 counts of involuntary manslaughter, 11 additional counts of “seaman’s manslaughter.” A judge threw out the seaman’s manslaughter charges. A federal appeals court upheld that decision after months of legal proceedings, clearing the way for trial.
The latest trial date was set this week at a conference with U.S. District Judge Stanwood Duval.