New York State Comptroller Thomas P. DiNapoli, trustee of the $132.6 billion Common Retirement Fund for state employees, said the Fund will seek lead plaintiff status in the class action lawsuit against BP Plc for damages arising from the Deepwater Horizon explosion and oil spill in the Gulf of Mexico in April.

BP_discover_enterprise_flaring_375DiNapoli said he has hired the law firm of Cohen Milstein Sellers & Toll to represent the Fund. “It’s my duty to protect the interests of the Fund and the retirees and employees who rely on it,” DiNapoli said. “BP misled investors about its safety procedures and its ability to respond to events like the ongoing oil spill and we’re going to hold it accountable.”

DiNapoli said he is seeking to lead the class action against BP “to give the Fund and other investors their best chance at recovering damages sustained from the decline in shareholder value subsequent to the Deepwater Horizon explosion and oil spill.” DiNapoli said the Fund held more than 19 million shares at the time of the event.

The New York State Common Retirement Fund provides benefits to more than one million active and retired state and local government employees, police officers, and firefighters.

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