Three BP employees charged with manslaughter over Macondo spill
BY NELL LUKOSAVICH, Senior Editor
HOUSTON – In the days following BP’s record-setting $4.5 billion fine for the 2010 Deepwater Horizon incident, more details are emerging about the three current and former BP employees who now face manslaughter charges.
Up until this week, only one BP employee involved in the incident, which spilled almost five million bbl of oil into the Gulf of Mexico, had been personally charged. This week, three more individuals – Donald Vidrine and Robert Kaluza, drilling managers, and former executive David Rainey. The charges include negligence in administering the well site pressure test and falsifying information, respectively. Vidrine and Zaluza are charged with 22 counts of negligent manslaughter and Rainey is charged with felony obstruction of justice. Each of the accused faces over ten years in prison.
Eleven rig works perished when the rig exploded nearly 50 mi off the coast of Louisiana. BP has plead guilty to 11 felony counts of seaman’s manslaughter.
In total, including the manslaughter charges, BP plead guilty to 14 criminal charges, based on the results of a two-year government investigation. “Following the discovery that oil was spilling into the Gulf of Mexico, BP materially misrepresented and understated the estimated range of flow rate of oil leaking from the well in three public filings furnished to the Commission,” the Securities and Exchange Commission published in its report about the event.