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    BP Freezes Executives' Severance

    Nearly 40 executives are the targets of a lawsuit seeking damages for mismanagement.

    LONDON -- BP plc temporarily froze severance payments totaling approximately $4 million to former CEO John Browne and former refining chief John Manzoni, The Associated Press reported.

    The freeze was part of a U.S. lawsuit filed by shareholders seeking damages for alleged mismanagement by executives. According to the lawsuit, filed in Alaska in October, shareholders were concerned they would not be able to recover money from Brown and Manzoni, the report stated.

    Shareholders in the suit are seeking unspecified damages from 39 current and former BP executives and directors, following a series of accidents at the company, including a spill at the Alaska Prudhoe Bay pipeline last year and a deadly Texas refinery explosion in 2005, the AP reported.

    BP voluntarily decided to withhold payments worth more than 1.5 million pounds, or $3 million U.S., to Browne and payments of almost 500,000 pounds, or $1 million, to Manzoni, for 60 days while the court case is resolved, the report stated.

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