Supreme Court rejects review of BP shareholder lawsuit

Supreme Court rejects review of BP shareholder lawsuit
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The Supreme Court will not hear arguments from a group of BP shareholders looking to sue the company over the 2010 Gulf Coast oil spill. 

A group of investors who had purchased shares in BP before the spill has looked to sue the company, saying it mislead potential investors about its safety standards ahead of the incident.

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The group claimed the company overstated the extent of its safety procedures for drilling rigs, causing them to invest in the company and lose money when BP’s stock collapsed after the Deepwater Horizon explosion and oil spill. 

An appeals court had rejected the investors’ class action lawsuit against BP in September, arguing some members of the group might have bought stock in the company regardless of the safety issues, The Legal Intelligencer journal wrote in a summary of the case in January. 

BP, too, argued the suit shouldn’t go forward because the investors were asking for damages for the entire decline in stock price, Reuters reports

The Supreme Court rejected the investors’ appeal without comment on Monday. 

"We are pleased that the Supreme Court has denied the plaintiffs’ petition,” BP spokesman Geoff Morrell said in a statement.  

“In multiple previous decisions, the Fifth Circuit and District Court have rejected this proposed class of plaintiffs, all of whom purchased BP stock over a two-and-a-half-year period before the Deepwater Horizon explosion. BP has long argued that all the plaintiffs’ securities claims are meritless and will continue to defend vigorously against them." 

The 2010 explosion of the Deepwater Horizon rig killed 11 workers and spilled 3.19 million barrel of oil into the Gulf of Mexico. Litigation after the incident has cost BP billions of dollars, including more than $20 billion to settle violations with the federal government.