Judge Allows Whistleblower Case Against BP to Proceed

August 17, 2015

In an order issued August 14, 2015, Judge Curtis E.A. Karnow of the San Francisco Superior Court cleared the path for CPM and California Attorney General Kamala Harris to pursue whistleblower claims against BP (formerly British Petroleum) for overcharging the State of California on purchases of natural gas. The case was filed in 2012 by a former-employee of BP, under the California False Claims Act. California Attorney General Kamala Harris joined the case in late 2014. The case accuses the oil company of massive overcharging of California cities, counties, universities, and government agencies on purchases of natural gas over the course of the past decade.

The Order (which can be found here), overruled BP’s attacks on the Attorney General’s Complaint, finding that it contains sufficient details of the fraudulent scheme. In a prior Order issued June 10, 2015 (which can be found here), the Court ruled that CPM’s client has the right to pursue the whistleblower claims alongside the California Attorney General, and that his individual wrongful termination claims can proceed in California, rather than Texas. Niall P. McCarthy, Justin T. Berger, and Eric J. Buescher are handling the case for CPM.