BP rig supervisors ask judge to dismiss manslaughter charges in deaths of 11 workers in Gulf

NEW ORLEANS – Two BP rig supervisors charged in the deaths of 11 workers in the Deepwater Horizon disaster claim the manslaughter counts in their indictment must be dismissed because they don’t apply to conduct on a foreign-owned vessel operating outside U.S. territory.

Court filings Thursday by Robert Kaluza and Donald Vidrine’s attorneys also argue that 11 of the 22 manslaughter counts don’t extend to their clients because they weren’t responsible for marine operations on the rig that exploded in the Gulf of Mexico in April 2010.

Justice Department spokesman Peter Carr declined to comment but said prosecutors would respond at the appropriate time.

Kaluza and Vidrine are accused of botching a key safety test and disregarding high pressure readings that were glaring signs of trouble before the blowout of BP’s Macondo well.