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Defense lawyers say BP rig workers are scapegoats

Fri, 11/16/2012 - 5:09am
MICHAEL KUNZELMAN - Associated Press - Associated Press

While BP has resolved a sweeping criminal probe of its role in the 2010 oil spill in the Gulf of Mexico, two company employees charged in the deaths of 11 rig workers claim the Justice Department is trying to make them scapegoats.

Attorneys for the highest-ranking BP employees aboard the Deepwater Horizon during the deadly explosion vowed to fight manslaughter charges. According to the indictment unsealed Thursday, Robert Kaluza and Donald Vidrine are accused of disregarding abnormal high-pressure readings that should have been glaring indications of trouble just before the blowout.

Vidrine's attorney, Bob Habans, said in a statement that prosecutors showed poor judgment in charging his 65-year-old client.

Kaluza's attorneys, Shaun Clarke and David Gerger, say their 62-year-old client was a dedicated rig worker who "mourns his fallen co-workers every day."

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