BP shareholders file lawsuit over Gulf oil spill

Published: Jun. 10, 2010 at 4:58 PM EDT
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NEW YORK - (PRNewswire) - Citing the company's history of safety lapses, cost cutting, and workplace disasters, shareholders who purchased stock in BP have filed a class-action lawsuit based on claims that the company mislead investors prior to the Deepwater Horizon oil spill in the Gulf of Mexico.  

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 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. during a period beginning February 27, 2008, through May 12, 2010, (the "Class Period").  

BP's ADRs and ordinary shares are actively traded on the New York Stock Exchange (NYSE: BP) and the London Stock Exchange (London Stock Exchange: BP.L), respectively.

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.

If you purchased or otherwise acquired the ordinary shares and/or ADRs of BP during the Class Period, you may apply to serve as lead plaintiff. 

The lead plaintiff is responsible for overseeing the prosecution of the action and ensuring that the interests of the class are protected. 

Should you desire to be lead plaintiff, you may apply to be appointed through Zwerling, Schachter & Zwerling, as counsel.  The deadline for seeking to become a lead plaintiff is July 20, 2010.

Zwerling, Schachter & Zwerling, LLP represents clients nationwide in financial-related class action lawsuits.  

With offices in New York City, Garden City, N.Y. and Seattle, the firm currently plays a leading role in numerous major securities and complex commercial litigations pending in federal and state courts.

To learn more, please visit the firm's website at http://www.zsz.com.

Source: Zwerling, Schachter & Zwerling, LLP