Appeals court upholds class action status in oil spill suit

NEW ORLEANS (AP) – A federal appeals court says litigation alleging that BP misled investors about the rate of oil flowing after an offshore oil rig explosion in 2010 can proceed as a class action lawsuit.

Tuesday’s 5th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals ruling means that the lawsuit, led by pension funds in New York and Ohio, can continue on behalf of all purchasers of certain types of BP securities during a 33-day period after the Deepwater Horizon disaster in the Gulf of Mexico. The lawsuit says low estimates of the rate of oil spewing into the Gulf inflated securities prices.

The ruling also upheld the lower court’s denial of class action status on a related allegation: that BP misrepresented its safety procedures before the spill. Investors must file individual lawsuits pursuing such claims.

(Copyright 2015 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.)

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