So, a group of BP’s investors got together last June and decided to sue British Petroleum, Tony Hayward and Bob Dudley for wasting corporate assets, exposing the company and therefore, its shareholders to billions of dollars in liabilities and for violating their responsibilities to its shareholders by allowing the BP oil catastraphuk to happen.
This lawsuit was filed in Houston.
Ah, but BP has a problem with this.
British Petroleum is now claiming they can’t be sued by investors in American courts, because the company isn’t based in America and the lawsuit should be heard in England, where I imagine they assume they will get handled with much cleaner gloves, more prim, fewer oil stains. Oh, and Tony Hayward can’t be sued in Texas because he isn’t even an American citizen. “England is the more convenient forum for this action,” BP claims.
Remember a while back when British Petroleum was arguing with a federal judge that the 180 oil spill lawsuits should be consolidated and heard in Houston, not Louisiana? At that time they claimed Houston was more logical (and the courts arguably more friendly than in Louisiana) because BP executives are “headquartered in Houston and maintain their key witnesses and documents there.” Well, now Hayward’s only connection to Houston is in his role as CEO which brought him to Houston from time to time.
“The assumption of jurisdiction by the court over Mr. Hayward and his property would offend traditional notions of fair play and substantial justice,” BP said in its filing against the lawsuit’s location.
If there is one thing BP and Tony Hayward would seem to be completely ignorant of, it would certainly be the notion of fair play and justice, or as Loren Steffy of the Houston Chronicle puts it:
So, basically, BP is arguing that it can set up operations here, get a listing on the New York Stock Exchange, employ thousands of people and unleash the worst offshore oil spill in our nation’s history, but it doesn’t have to answer to investors in a U.S. court. It would prefer to be sued someplace it finds more convenient, thank you. BP will stick around just long enough, and shell out just enough money, to maintain its access to its lucrative oil fields in the Gulf. But when it comes to BP officers facing claims they betrayed their responsibility to shareholders, BP’s accountability has already left town.
Hear Hear…all rise…
Read the article:
Have a nice day.