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BP Oil Spill Trial Starts This Week

February 16th, 2016

The federal BP oil spill trial of a rig supervisor is scheduled to begin this week. Jury selection in the trial of rig supervisor Robert Kaluza is underway in U.S. District Court in New Orleans. U.S. District Judge Stanwood Duval Jr. will oversee the BP oil spill trial, in which Mr. Kaluza is charged with violating the federal Clean Water Act. Prosecutors filed the misdemeanor charges against Mr. Kaluza and another rig supervisor, claiming that their mismanagement of a pressure test led to the 2010 disaster.

Details of the BP Oil Spill

An explosion ripped through the Deepwater Horizon offshore oil rig on April 20, 2010.The explosion and subsequent fire killed eleven workers and injured dozens more. The explosion also led to the rupture of an underground pipe to rupture, spilling nearly 5 million barrels of crude oil into the Gulf of Mexico. The BP oil spill lasted for 87 days, the largest single environmental disaster in U.S. history. Late last year, BP reached a settlement with local, state and federal agencies totaling over $20 billion, including $5 billion in fines for violations of the Clean Water Act

Major Charges Dropped Before BP Oil Spill Trial

Mr. Kaluza and another rig supervisor, Donald Vidrine, had faced numerous serious charges prior to the current BP oil spill trial. Prosecutors had investigated both men for their roles in the deaths aboard the Deepwater Horizon rig. The men could have faced multiple manslaughter charges related to those deaths, but prosecutors dropped the charges before the start of the BP oil spill trial. Mr. Vidrine entered a guilty plea on charges of violating the Clean Water Act and is awaiting sentencing.

Pressure Test Spurs BP Oil Spill Trial

Although Mr. Kaluza will not face charges directly related to the deaths surrounding the BP oil spill trial, prosecutors successfully argued that the deaths of four workers were tied to his failure to execute a crucial test. Mr. Kaluza and Mr. Vidrine were on hand to supervise a “negative pressure test” aboard the rig. According to prosecutors at the BP oil spill trial, the test should have revealed signs that the rig could explode. They allege that the supervisors should have known about the rig’s problems and could have avoided the entire disaster.

Sources: Tampa Bay Tribune, ABC News

Know Your Rights In A BP Oil Spill Lawsuit

To find out how we can help with a BP oil spill lawsuit, contact us today at 855-877-7455. Our friendly staff will ask a few questions about your case and connect you to a BP oil spill lawsuit attorney. You can also fill out the “Free Case Evaluation” form at the top of this page.

NOTE: This blog post is a news story and does not imply an endorsement of the Amaro Law Firm by any parties mentioned herein.

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