According to the Wall Street Journal, the New York State Common Retirement Fund (NYSCRF) is mulling over the decision to sue BP over some 17.5 million shares the fund has in the company.
With BP’s legal team fending off lawsuits left and right for their management of the catastrophic Gulf of Mexico oil spill – the cost of which may even amount to more than the company’s professional indemnity insurance limit – NYSCRF deciding to sue could be yet another crippling blow for the beleaguered company.
At least three lawsuits have been officially filed by BP’s shareholders so far, and the company is also under criminal investigation by the US government over the environmental damage of the spill and the risk to human health.
The NYSCRF has $132.6 billion in assets and around 17.5 million index funds shares in BP. As a result of the drastic drop in BP shares, it is estimated that the pension fund has lost around $30 million. An NYSCRF spokesperson has cautiously explained the fund’s intentions, saying:
“We’ve been looking at all our options that we have available, including potential litigation,”
“We want to make sure if there was negligence or recklessness that we are made whole appropriately,”