02/15/2012 05:07:00 PM EST
Texas Judge Refuses To Dismiss Securities Lawsuit Against BP Over Gulf Oil Spill
In the wake of the disastrous April 2010 Deepwater Horizon oil spill, BP was hit with a wave of litigation from plaintiffs asserting claims of personal injury, wrongful death and property damage. The claimants also included BP shareholders raising allegations that they had been misled regarding BP safety efforts and processes. In a 129-page February 13, 2012 opinion (here), Southern District of Texas Judge Keith Ellison, while granting the defendants' motion to dismiss certain of plaintiffs' allegations, denied defendants' motion to dismiss many of the allegations of BP investors who had purchased BP American Depositary Shares (ADS) on the New York Stock Exchange.
However Judge Ellison granted the defendants' motion to dismiss all of the claims - including claims asserted under New York state law and English common law - of U.S.-domiciled investors who purchased their BP shares on the London Stock Exchange.
Finally, in a separate 82-page order also dated February 13, 2012 (here), Judge Ellison granted without prejudice defendants' motion to dismiss the claims on a separate group of Plaintiffs (the "Ludlow plaintiffs").
The Deepwater Horizon oil spill lasted for eighty seven days and cost BP somewhere between $20 billion and $40 billion. Over the course of the disaster, over four million barrels of oil spilled in the Gulf at a rate of about 60,000 per day. From the date of the initial explosion to the final date of the class period in the securities class action lawsuit, BP's market capitalization fell over $91 billion.
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Read other items of interest from the world of directors & officers liability, with occasional commentary, at the D&O Diary, a blog by Kevin LaCroix.
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