Wednesday, October 13, 2010

Judge Sets First Deadline for BP (NYSE:BP) Lawsuit

U.S. District Judge Keith P. Ellison set the first deadline in a BP (NYSE:BP), telling the oil giant and investors they had to submit proposals for lawsuit leadership by October 27.

Ellison said at the hearing, “We should start with ideas about how to select the lead plaintiff and class counsel.”

This particular lawsuit centers around those holding U.S. shares of BP who claim the company understated the risks associated with its offshore drilling projects. Consequently the value of the ADRs were "artificially inflated," shareholders said.

On behalf of some plaintiffs, attorney Stanley M. Chesley said, “BP’s procedures for minimizing its financial losses from drilling rig problems were no more than fantasies. BP was simply not the enterprise that its public communications pictured.”

For purposes of gathering evidence and pretrial decisions, Ellison consolidated the investor lawsuits in August.

Shareholders assert BP and its managers senior executives and directors are responsible for as high as $50 billion in lost stock value because of the Gulf of Mexico oil spill.

It'll be interesting to see how that is handled as the share price and value of the company continue to rebound.

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