FL Woman Sues BP Over 401(k) Stock Losses

A Florida woman who invested in the company stock option in BP’s 401(k) plan has sued the company and State Street Bank & Trust.

The suit claimed that participants holding company stock through their retirement accounts lost hundreds of millions of dollars when BP’s stock price collapsed. 



Plaintiff Charis Moule’s suit seeks class action status to represent participants who lost money in the BP stock fund after the April explosion of a BP oil rig and the leak of oil that followed.  State Street Global Advisors (SSgA) was investment manager of the stock fund and trustee to BP’s Employee Savings Plan (ESP). 

The suit charged the defendants committed breaches of their fiduciary duty under the Employee Retirement Income Security Act (ERISA) by continuing to hold $2.45 billion of BP American depositary shares (ADS) even though they should have known that inadequate safety measures in place by BP made such investment no longer prudent.   

The complaint said the ADS holdings represented 29% of the plan’s total $8.27 billion in plan assets as of December 31, 2009. The ADS plummeted in value by more than 50% from $59.88 the day before the Gulf oil rig explosion, according to the suit.  

A separate lawsuit was filed against BP, its directors and executives by Ralph Whitley, a former BP employee and a participant in the same employee savings plan, in U.S. District Court in New York on June 24 (see Ex-Employee Sues BP Over Plan Losses ).  

The newest suit is available here