A shareholder lawsuit claims Anadarko Petroleum cut its safety budget and staff just months before a fatal house explosion in Colorado that was linked to an Anadarko well.
The lawsuit alleges that Anadarko was staying focused on keeping oil and gas flowing from older wells and was not focused on fixing any potential safety problems.
Anadarko's actions caused stock prices to fall, which hurt investors, according to the lawsuit that is being lead by the pension fund for the Philadelphia Iron Workers union. The pension fund owns Anadarko stock.
The fatal explosion killed two people and injured one in April 2017 in Firestone, Colorado. The explosion was caused by odorless, unrefined natural gas that seeped into the home's basement from a severed gathering line.
The lawsuit cites one former employee who claims Anadarko was aware that there was something unusual about the well because it should have been emitting methane but was not. The company kept the well in operation anyway, according to the former employee.
The lawsuit was filed last year in Texas, which is where Anadarko is based. The company said it does not comment on pending lawsuits.