Ninth Circuit Revives Securities Case Against BP

In Reese v. Malone (, the Ninth Circuit revived a case against BP and one of its executives that the trial court had dismissed.  BP had suffered a leak in one of its Alaskan pipelines.  In the aftermath, a BP official stated that the leak was isolated and that the pipelines had not suffered serious corrosion.  Months later, another substantial leak was found in the same area. Significantly the Court relied very heavily on the BP official's background, including her PhD in Environmental Science to conclude that there were sufficient allegations of scienter.  This appears contrary to the oft-repeated holdings that title and position are not enough to plead scienter.