Law Firm Probing Potential BP ERISA Violations

June 24, 2010 ( – The Milberg LLP law firm has announced it is investigating possible illegal conduct relating to BP's 401(k) plan for U.S. employees known as the BP Employee Savings Plan (ESP).   

Milberg LLP said it is looking into whether fiduciaries of the BP Employee Savings Plan may have violated the Employee Retirement Income Security Act (ERISA) by continuing to offer the BP Stock Fund as a BP Employee Savings Plan investment option when it was imprudent to do so. 

The law firm’s announcement said the ongoing BP oil spill in the Gulf of Mexico is hurting the retirement savings of BP Employee Savings Plan participants. The BP Employee Savings Plan had more than $2 billion invested in BP Stock at the end of 2009.  

The law firm said that since the explosion in April that triggered the spill, BP’s stock price has fallen by approximately 50%, “decimating” the retirement savings of BP employees whose plan accounts are invested in BP Stock.  

Milberg is investigating whether the fiduciaries of the 401(k) plan knew or should have known of BP’s “problematic safety record,” including BP’s safety measures used on the Deepwater Horizon, making the BP Stock Fund an imprudent investment for BP employees that participate in BP’s 401(k) plan.  

New York state Comptroller Thomas DiNapoli announced he had retained a law firm to sue on behalf of the state’s Common Retirement Fund (CRF) over its BP losses (see DiNapoli Lines up Counsel for BP Oil Spill Suit.)