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NY pension fund going after BP for spill

A brown pelican struggles to live in the

A brown pelican struggles to live in the thick tarry oil that polluted Louisiana's coastal waters on the Gulf of Mexico after BP's Deepwater Horizon drilling rig exploded, sank and began leaking. New York is a top plaintiff in a suit against BP claiming the company misled investors about the safety of its operations. (June 3, 2010) Photo Credit: AP

New York State Comptroller Thomas DiNapoli says the state's retirement fund will be a lead plaintiff in the class-action federal suit by investors against BP over the oil spill in the Gulf of Mexico.

DiNapoli, as trustee of the state's $133-billion public employee pension fund, claims the British oil giant misled investors about the safety of its operations.

The co-lead plaintiff chosen by U.S. District Judge Keith Ellison is the Ohio attorney general representing four public pension funds.

BP's stock value dropped roughly in half following the April 20 oil rig explosion and spill.

The New York retirement fund for public workers held about 19 million shares.

BP's stock price Wednesday closed down 16 cents, or 36 percent, to $43.95.

Meanwhile, eight months after the spill, BP's costs look manageable.

As the Gulf oil spill gushed out of control, BP's financial liabilities seemed big enough to sink the company. No more.

Cleanup, government fines, lawsuits, legal fees and damage claims will likely exceed the $40 billion that BP has publicly estimated, according to an Associated Press analysis. But they'll be far below the highest estimates made over the summer by legal experts and prominent Wall Street banks, such as Goldman Sachs, which said costs could near $200 billion.

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