NEW ORLEANS, La.--Two BP supervisors and a former executive pleaded not guilty in federal court Wednesday to manslaughter charges in the deaths of 11 BP workers killed in the Deepwater Horizon spill from April 2010. Four of the 11 who died were from Mississippi.
The charges against supervisors Robert Kaluza and Donald Vidrine, along with exploration executive David Rainey came as BP agreed to a record settlement with the U.S. for the deaths and damages caused by the spill.
That damage, according to ecologists and economists, included the Mississippi coast's tourism industry and wildlife.
While the two supervisors are accused of ignoring abnormally high pressure readings prior to the explosion, Rainy is accused of lying to Congress about the amount of oil that was actually leaking from the well after the rig blew up and sank, leaving a gaping leak that continuously poured oil into the Gulf for days.
The federal government also recently suspended all new contracts between the government and BP.
"Every investigation has said that this occurred as the result of multiple failures at multiple levels in multiple companies," said Shaun Clarke, an attorney for one of the supervisors. "It's not our place today to say who or what should be charged."
Mississippians killed in the explosion included Karl Kleppinger, 38, of Natchez; Aaron Dale Burkeen, 37, of Neshoba County; Shane Roshto, 22, of Franklin County; and Dewey Revette, 48, from State Line.