On November 4, 2016, Judge Keith Ellison of the United States District Court for the Southern District of Texas granted preliminary approval to the settlement reached between BP and Lead Plaintiffs for the “post-explosion” class. That settlement is in the amount of $175 million, payable during 2016-2017. The settlement must still be granted final approval by the Court. The final approval hearing will be held on February 13, 2017, in Courtroom 3A of the United States District Court for the Southern District of Texas, 515 Rusk Avenue, Houston, Texas.
The settlement covers investors who purchased BP American Depositary Shares between April 26, 2010 and May 28, 2010. This settlement does not resolve other BP securities-related litigation in connection with the Gulf of Mexico oil spill. More information on this litigation can also be found at http://www.bpsecuritieslitigation.com/.
Cohen Milstein serves as Co-Lead Counsel and represents the New York State Common Retirement Fund in this class action stemming from the Deepwater Horizon oil spill. Plaintiffs allege that after the Deepwater Horizon explosion, BP and two of its senior executives misled investors about the severity of the oil spill in the Gulf of Mexico which impeded investors’ ability to assess the financial implications of the spill on BP. Following the class certification decision in May 2014, both parties filed motions for summary judgment in November 2014. On September 8, 2015, the United States Court of Appeals for the Fifth Circuit affirmed Judge Keith Ellison’s decision to certify an impacted class of investors who purchased BP’s American Depositary Shares on April 26, 2010 through and including May 28, 2010.
In a ruling in In re BP plc Securities Litigation, issued on February 6, 2013, U.S. District Court Judge for the Southern District of Texas, Keith Ellison, ruled that Lead Plaintiffs’ allegations were sufficient as to the Company, Tony Hayward and Douglas Suttles to overcome BP’s motion to dismiss the second consolidated amended complaint.
On April 2, 2012, Plaintiffs filed a Second Amended Complaint to address portions of the case that were dismissed by the Court. Lead Plaintiffs are the New York State Common Retirement Fund and various Ohio public pension funds. Cohen Milstein Sellers & Toll PLLC serves as co-lead counsel in the case.
In a ruling in In re BP plc Securities Litigation, issued on February 13, 2012, U.S. District Court Judge for the Southern District of Texas, Keith Ellison ruled that Lead Plaintiffs had stated an actionable claim for securities fraud against BP and certain of its senior executives under Sections 10(b) and 20(a) of the Securities Exchange Act of 1934. The court denied in part Defendants' motion to dismiss the amended complaint, holding that the amended complaint adequately pled that certain defendants made false or misleading statements and that the statements were made either knowingly or recklessly.
The case relates to Defendants' misrepresentations regarding their progress in improving BP's process safety during the class period. After a series of high profile safety incidents, beginning in 2007 Defendants falsely assured investors that the Company was committed to improving its process safety and consistently reported progress against specific standards that it had agreed to implement. Defendants also falsely claimed that BP had the capability to effectively respond to an oil spill occurring in the Gulf of Mexico. The truth about BP's failure to implement process safety reforms and its inability to respond to a spill was revealed publically following the explosion of the Deepwater Horizon drilling rig in the Gulf of Mexico. Defendants nevertheless continued to deceive investors by underestimating the amount of oil that was flowing into the ocean.
DiNapoli Sues BP Over Losses From Oil Spill Disaster
State Pension Fund Hires Cohen Milstein to Seek Lead Plaintiff Status
New York State Comptroller Thomas P. DiNapoli, as trustee of the $132.6 billion New York State Common Retirement Fund (Fund), announced today that he has hired the law firm of Cohen Milstein Sellers & Toll PLLC to represent the Fund in a class action against BP Plc. DiNapoli said the Fund will seek lead plaintiff status in the action that stems from BP’s disastrous Deepwater Horizon explosion and oil spill in the Gulf of Mexico in April.
“It’s my duty to protect the interests of the Fund and the retirees and employees who rely on it,” DiNapoli said. “BP misled investors about its safety procedures and its ability to respond to events like the ongoing oil spill and we’re going to hold it accountable.”
DiNapoli said he is seeking to lead the class action against BP to give the Fund and other investors their best chance at recovering damages sustained from the decline in shareholder value subsequent to the Deepwater Horizon explosion and oil spill. DiNapoli said the Fund held more than 19 million shares at the time of the event.
The Fund provides benefits to more than one million active and retired state and local government employees, police officers, and firefighters. In addition to investment earnings, the Fund is funded by contributions by state and local government employers and employees.