Failure to Handle BP Class Action Claim Properly
Tampa Legal Malpractice Attorney
In June of 2016, British Petroleum (BP) agreed to pay $175 million to shareholders who participated in a class action lawsuit against it that spun off the 2010 Deepwater Horizon oil spill in the Gulf of Mexico. The investors alleged that BP failed to fully disclose the extent of the damages that arose from the spill. BP had publicly claimed that 1,000 to 5,000 barrels of oil per day were leaking into the ocean. Internal estimates were as high as ten times that much.
Other class actions brought against BP had previously been settled. The largest was for about $7.8 billion in 2012. It involved more than 100,000 claims against BP.
Generally, in a class action lawsuit, one or more plaintiffs sue on behalf of a larger group whose members are similarly situated. Two factors present in just about every class action are that:
- The issues in the lawsuit are common to all members of the class; and
- So many people are involved that it makes it impractical to have the cases heard individually.
The law allows shareholders of a corporation to file a class action against it when they suffer damages by devaluation of their shares. In the BP class action, the presiding judge held that investors who bought certain shares shortly after the explosion could sue as a class because BP “lowballed” the rate of the oil flow while the price per share of that stock “did not reflect the magnitude of the disaster facing the company.”
Some class members may be in the position of having retained an attorney for purposes of joining a class action lawsuit against BP, but their attorney failed to take the proper steps. Now those class members are left without compensation. If that happened to you, your attorney might have committed legal malpractice.
You can contact a Tampa legal malpractice attorney at Wagner McLaughlin at 813-225-4000 to discuss any claim that you have against an attorney that involves the BP Deepwater Horizon oil spill.
We represent clients in Florida legal malpractice cases across the state.