SAN DIEGO & MELBOURNE, Australia--(BUSINESS WIRE)--Shareholder rights law firm Robbins Arroyo LLP announces that a class action complaint was filed against BHP Billiton Limited (NYSE: BHP) in the U.S. District Court Southern District of New York. The plaintiff brings the complaint on behalf of all purchasers of the American Depositary Receipts (the "ADRs") of BHP between September 25, 2014 and November 30, 2015, for the alleged violations the Securities Act of 1934 by BHP's officers and directors. BHP discovers, acquires, develops, and markets natural resources worldwide.
View this information on the law firm's Shareholder Rights Blog: www.robbinsarroyo.com/shareholders-rights-blog/bhp-billiton-limited
BHP Accused of Misleading Investors About the Company's Commitment to Safety
According to the complaint, BHP – which holds a 50% interest in Samarco Mineracão S.A. and four seats on Samarco's Board – received a report commissioned by Brazil's Environmental Ministry and prepared by the Pristínio Institute (the "Pristínio Report") in October 2013, in response to Samarco's request for the revalidation of its operating license for Fandão dam. Samarco used the Fandão dam to contain waste from its iron ore production. The Pristínio Report warned of design deficiencies associated with the dam and its planned expansion to accommodate Samarco's mine's increased production capacity, and, given the proximity of the dam to the nearby village of Bento Rodrigues, recommended close monitoring of the dam and Samarco's submission of an emergency plan.
On November 5, 2015, the Fundão dam failed, flooding the nearby town of Bento Rodrigues with 60 million cubic meters of mud and mine waste. The complaint asserts that Samarco is expected to suspend its mining operations for several years, remediation costs are expected to exceed $1 billion, Samarco has already paid hundreds of millions of dollars in fines to the Brazilian government, and BHP is subject to direct liability arising from the disaster.
According to the complaint, during the class period, BHP made materially false and misleading statements – in various Form 20-Fs filed with the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission and speeches made at the company's annual meetings, among other places – concerning its commitment to safety and implementation of safety and monitoring protocols. Additionally, defendants knew or recklessly disregarded the condition of the Fundão dam and other Samarco waste containment facilities.
Since the dam burst and the truth about BHP's operations was revealed, the price of BHP's ADRs has declined, closing at $22.80 on February 24, 2016, down $10.23 from its closing price of $33.43 the day before the incident.
BHP Shareholders Have Legal Options
Concerned shareholders who would like more information about their rights and potential remedies can contact attorney Darnell R. Donahue at (800) 350-6003, DDonahue@robbinsarroyo.com, or via the shareholder information form on the firm's website.
Robbins Arroyo LLP is a nationally recognized leader in shareholder rights law. The firm represents individual and institutional investors in shareholder derivative and securities class action lawsuits, and has helped its clients realize more than $1 billion of value for themselves and the companies in which they have invested.
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