Not a Lexis+ subscriber? Try it out for free.


BP Shareholders File Lawsuit Over Gulf Oil Spill In Eastern District Of Louisiana

NEW YORK - Citing the company's history of safety lapses, cost cutting and workplace disasters, shareholders who purchased stock in BP on June 10 filed a class action lawsuit based on claims that the company mislead investors before the Deepwater Horizon oil spill in the Gulf of Mexico (Lore Greenfield, et al. v. BP p.l.c., et al., No. 10-cv-1683, E.D. La.).

The suit, filed in the U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of Louisiana, seeks to represent not only American investors, but also people around the world who bought shares in United Kingdom-based BP.

Zwerling, Schachter & Zwerling LLP said it filed the class action lawsuit on behalf of individuals or entities that purchased ordinary shares and/or American Depository Receipts in BP p.l.c. from Feb. 27, 2008, through May 12, 2010. BP's ADRs and ordinary shares are actively traded on the New York Stock Exchange and the London Stock Exchange.

The lawsuit notes BP's prior statements about its Gulf operations being a primary economic driver, and the company's assertions that it had the technology to safely conduct the operations. But nearly a month after the catastrophic explosion at the Deepwater Horizon, BP's Chief Executive Officer Anthony B. Hayward admitted that BP did not have the technology available to stop the Gulf leak.

The lawsuit chronicles BP's long history of spills, fires and explosions at its facilities, including a 2005 explosion in Texas City, Texas, that killed 15 people, and a 2006 oil leak in its Prudhoe Bay, Alaska, operations pipeline. In the Alaska case, Zwerling, Schachter & Zwerling served as lead counsel for securities plaintiffs who brought suit against BP, and secured a multimillion-dollar settlement on their behalf.

In the current case, shareholders claim BP violated the Securities Exchange Act of 1934 by issuing false and misleading statements about safety, technology, inspections and precautions at its offshore oil facilities. At the time of the latest disaster, BP shares were trading at nearly $60, but since have lost nearly half their value.

The deadline for seeking to become a lead plaintiff is July 20, 2010.

The plaintiffs are represented by Robert S. Schachter, Richard A. Speirs, Stephen J. Riegel, Ana M. Cabassa and Shaye J. Fuchs of Zwerling, Schachter & Zwerling LLP in New York, Eric J. O'Bell of the Law Office of Eric J. O'Bell in Metarie, La., and David M. Foster of Farmington Hills, Mich.

Download the complaint. subscribers can find more Deepwater Horizon-related filings here.  If you do not have a ID, you can get information on how to subscribe here.