BP, Europe's second-largest oil company, scored a legal victory on Wednesday when the 9th Circuit Court of Appeals dismissed a securities fraud claim brought by investors against BP's BP Exploration unit stemming from the company's 2007 conviction for illegally dumping oil into Alaska's Prudhoe Bay.
BP (BP) plead guilty to violating the Clean Water Act in 2007 after 200,000 gallons of oiled leaked into Prudhoe Bay. The British oil giant blamed faulty pipelines for the accident, admitting that it knew the pipeline in question had suffered corrosion, but also acknowledging it did not fix the problem.
U.S. District Judge Marsha Pechman in Seattle tossed most of the plaintiffs' claims for failure to meet the heightened standards of the Private Securities Litigation Reform Act of 1995, according to Courthouse News. The judge did rule the plaintiffs could pursue claims that BP misled investors through SEC filings related to the spill.
BP is one of the top oil producers in Alaska and the company's stake in Prudhoe Bay, one of the largest U.S. oil fields, was rumored to be for sale in the days following the Gulf of Mexico oil spill last year, but no deal for one of BP's more prestigious assets came to pass.