Gulf Oil 401(k) Suits Spill Over to Anadarko

Stull, Stull & Brody has started an investigation relating to the 401(k) defined contribution retirement plans of Anadarko Petroleum Corporation.

The company announced that among other things, it is investigating whether fiduciaries of the Anadarko 401(k) plan may have violated the Employee Retirement Income Security Act (ERISA) by continuing to offer and maintain the Anadarko Petroleum Corporation common stock fund as a plan investment option when it was imprudent to do so, and by failing to disclose true and accurate risks regarding the Deepwater Horizon rig to the 401(k) plan participants.   

Anadarko and BP are threatening to sue each other in court. The Wall Street Journal reports that Anadarko is accusing BP of comitting gross negligence or willful misconduct.  

If Anadarko can establish that in court, it would be freed from what would otherwise be a pro rata, 25% share of any liabilities for damages from the Deepwater Horizon explosion. If BP was more than merely negligent, under the joint venture agreement for the well, it becomes 100% liable for those actions, according to the WSJ.