A former BP Plc engineer who is the first individual to face criminal charges related to the 2010 Gulf of Mexico oil spill has been scheduled to face a jury trial on Feb. 25, a U.S. federal judge decided.
Kurt Mix, the former engineer, had been charged in April with two counts of obstruction of justice for allegedly deleting records related to the amount of oil that flowed from BP’s Macondo well following the explosion of the Deepwater Horizon drilling rig. He has pleaded not guilty.
The trial date set by U.S. District Judge Stanwood Duval in New Orleans is six weeks after the scheduled Jan. 14 start of a trial before another judge to assign blame for the spill among BP and its drilling partners.
BP, the London-based oil company, faces claims in that case by the U.S. government and Gulf Coast states, among others.
Duval set Mix’s trial date at a conference on Wednesday, according to a court order made public on Thursday.
The April 20, 2010 explosion of the Deepwater Horizon killed 11 people and triggered several hundred lawsuits. BP reached a $7.8 billion settlement in March with more than 125,000 local individuals and businesses, which awaits court approval.
The criminal case is U.S. v. Mix, U.S. District Court, Eastern District of Louisiana, No. 12-cr-00171. The main oil spill case is In re: Oil Spill by the Oil Rig “Deepwater Horizon” in the Gulf of Mexico, on April 20, 2010 in the same court, No. 10-md-02179.
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