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February 8, 2013

DiNapoli: Court Allows Securities Litigation Class Action Against BP To Move Forward

New York State Comptroller Thomas P. DiNapoli commended a Houston federal judge’s decision on Thursday to allow a securities class action case against BP plc to go forward.

“We are pleased that the New York State Common Retirement Fund’s claims on behalf of BP’s investors will proceed,” DiNapoli said. “Shareholders saw their investments plummet in value following the Deepwater Horizon catastrophe. Now information has come to light that BP was wholly unprepared to respond to the risks of its deep sea operations and incapable of adequately reacting when something went wrong.”

The litigation stems from misrepresentations made to investors about the success and scope of BP’s process safety efforts, as well as false claims about its oil spill response capabilities in the Gulf of Mexico. U.S. District Judge Keith P. Ellison, of the Southern District of Texas, ruled on February 6, 2013 that most of the claims asserted in the lawsuit can proceed in discovery.

The decision came after a hearing in November 2012 on BP’s motion to dismiss in a class action lawsuit filed by the New York State Common Retirement Fund, among others. The Fund, as co-lead plaintiff, represents a class of investors who purchased BP’s American Depositary Shares from November 8, 2007 through and including May 28, 2010.

The Fund is represented by co-lead counsel Cohen Milstein Sellers & Toll PLLC. The Fund provides benefits to more than one million active and retired state and local government employees, police officers, firefighters and their beneficiaries.

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