BP Plc employees shouldn’t be allowed to sue the company’s retirement savings plan managers for investing too heavily in BP stock, because the workers chose to invest in those shares, company lawyers said. BP asked a federal judge in Houston late yesterday to throw out multiple employee suits that seek recovery of millions of dollars the worker retirement plans lost during last year’s Gulf of Mexico oil spill.
The workers claim plan managers should have known the stock was an “imprudent investment” given BP’s safety and compliance record before the April 2010 sinking of the Deepwater Horizon, which sparked the worst offshore oil spill in U.S. history. The employee suits, brought under the federal Employee Retirement Income Security Act, or ERISA, are among hundreds of claims filed in U.S. courts after the explosion.
“We will vigorously oppose BP’s motion to dismiss,’’ Dona Szak of Ajamie LLP in Houston, who represents workers in the case, said today by telephone.