by Lori Tipton
Friday, May 21, 2010
ANCHORAGE, Alaska -- As oil continues to gush from a leaking BP wellhead in the Gulf of Mexico, the company faces problems in Alaska as well.
On Thursday, BP shareholders filed a lawsuit in Anchorage against CEO Tony Hayward and all 17 members of BP's board of directors, alleging "gross mismanagement" of the oil giant. They claim that the defendants' actions have tarnished the company's reputation and put the company's future in jeopardy.
In the 57-page Superior Court suit, shareholders accuse top BP executives of not taking necessary steps to ensure that the company was compliant with safety rules and environmental safeguards. The lawsuit seeks unspecified damages, as well as the appointment of an "independent corporate monitor" to implement safety and environmental compliance measures.
The suit notes that the company has a long history of health, safety and environmental problems at its U.S. facilities, citing multiple incidents in Alaska, Texas, and most recently the Gulf of Mexico. It also claims BP did not attempt to plan any response to the explosion that sank its Deepwater Horizon oil rig off the Louisiana coast.