DiNapoli Spearheads Class Action Lawsuit Against BP | NBC New York

DiNapoli Spearheads Class Action Lawsuit Against BP

Seeks to protect New York State Pension Funds

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    Getty Images/Cheryl Gerber
    GRAND ISLE, LA - JUNE 19: Oil and debris floats in Barataria Bay June 19, 2010 near Grand Isle, Louisiana. The BP oil spill has been called one of the largest environmental disasters in American history. (Photo by Cheryl Gerber/Getty Images)

    The oil spill in the Gulf may not be the only thing hemorrhaging millions of dollars. BP may be doing the same pretty soon.

    The New York State Common Retirement Fund has hired the law firm of Cohen Milstein Sellers & Toll PLLC to represent the fund in a class action suit against the oil company.

    New York State Comptroller Thomas P. DiNapoli stated, “It’s my duty to protect the interests of the Fund and the retirees and employees who rely on it.”

    BP's shares have widely been held by pension funds. DiNapoli said the Fund held more than 19 million shares at the time of the event. BP shares have fallen almost 50 percent since the deadly explosion. The stock is widely held by pension funds.

    The suit is an attempt at giving the fund and investors the best chance at recovering damages sustained from the decline of the stock after the Deepwater Horizon explosion and the ensuing oil spill.

    “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,” said the state comptroller.

    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.