Dismissal upheld: 11 Deepwater Horizon manslaughter charges
NEW ORLEANS - A federal appeals court has upheld a district judge's decision to drop 11 "seaman's manslaughter" charges against two BP supervisors in the deaths of workers killed when the Deepwater Horizon exploded in the Gulf of Mexico.
The 5th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals ruled Wednesday that the law does not apply to Robert Kaluza and Donald Vidrine. They were the top BP employees on the rig when it blew wild in 2010, starting the nation's worst offshore oil spill.
The decision could open the way for their trial on 11 counts of involuntary manslaughter and one of violating the Clean Water Act.
BP PLC and Kaluza's attorney declined to comment. Vidrine's attorney and a Justice Department spokesman did not immediately answer requests for comment.