New York City Sues BP Over Pension Fund Losses

Friday, Apr 26, 2013  |  Updated 4:32 PM EDT
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New York City Sues BP Over Pension Fund Losses

AP

FILE - In this April 21, 2010 file photo provided by the U.S. Coast Guard, fire boat response crews spray water on the blazing remnants of BP's Deepwater Horizon offshore oil rig.

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New York City is suing BP over the drop in its stock price after the 2010 Gulf of Mexico oil spill, saying its pension funds lost $39 million.

The lawsuit in federal court in New York claims BP failed to tell shareholders about the risks of its offshore drilling, and that after the spill it tried to minimize the cost to shareholders.

An earlier court ruling in a different case said that U.S. securities law didn't cover BP stock bought on the London Stock Exchange, the city said. That ruling would have barred most of New York City's claims, too. The lawsuit announced on Friday seeks compensation under state law.

The lawsuit was filed earlier this month and announced on Friday by City Comptroller John C. Liu, who is running for mayor. It represents the city Employees' Retirement System and pension funds for city teachers, police, firefighters and other Board of Education workers.

BP is facing a number of shareholder lawsuits over the spill, including a class-action federal suit in which the New York State Common Retirement Fund is a lead plaintiff, along with the Ohio attorney general representing four public pension funds.

Public pension funds from a number of states, including Connecticut, Colorado, Louisiana, North Carolina, Oklahoma, Oregon, Pennsylvania, along with a series of private funds and individuals, are also plaintiffs in that case, according to court documents.

A federal judge in Houston ruled in February that case may go forward.

BP declined to comment.

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