HOUSTON, TX — A lawsuit has been filed in Texas against BP for tens of millions of dollars by institutional investors who claim the oil company misled them over its safety policies and the magnitude of the oil spill in the Gulf of Mexico that occurred on April 20, 2010, when the Deepwater Horizon drilling rig exploded killing 11 oil rig workers and created the largest offshore oil spill in the history of the U.S.
According to an article at The Telegraph, six investors who bought shares in BP in London prior to the accident or in its immediate aftermath claim that they would not have done so at the price they did “had they known the truth”. They include the South Yorkshire Pensions Authority, Skandia Global Funds and GAM Fund Management. The company’s shares lost more than half its value wiping billions of pounds off the value of the group.
The investors claim BP and its then chief executive, Tony Hayward, misled them over its “safety first” policies in the years before the disaster, the size of the oil spill following the accident, and “the degree of BP’s likely responsibility for the catastrophe”.
The funds allege that they lost “substantial sums as a result of BP’s misleading statements”, and are suing under Texas law for common law fraud and negligent misrepresentation, and for statutory fraud. The US Supreme Court blocked foreign investors seeking damages in federal courts.
The investors allege that, after the explosion, BP “issued statements intended to assure investors that the leakage was limited and containable, that BP had done nothing wrong, and that consequential damages would be limited” and that “these statements minimized the decline of BP stock prices, and induced Plaintiffs to purchase additional shares”.
They claim BP executives “acted in reckless disregard of the truth, ignoring and concealing indications that the disaster was much larger than investors were being led to believe”.
Posted by Houston maritime lawyer Gordon, Elias & Seely, LLP