Exxon Escapes Paying $1B for Polluted Drinking Water

by Christopher Freeburn | February 27, 2013 10:15 am

exxon sign at night 630 300x227 Exxon Escapes Paying $1B for Polluted Drinking Water[1]Some residents of Jacksonville, Maryland, won’t be getting a $1 billion jury award for punitive damages[2] from Exxon Mobil (NYSE:XOM[3]).

The verdict stemmed from the contamination of drinking water supplied to 160 homeowners due to a gasoline leak, Bloomberg noted. The oil giant argued that the 2011 jury award was excessive. A state appeals court agreed and ordered a new trial in Baltimore County Circuit Court.

Additionally, the appeals court reverse the jury’s finding of fraud against Exxon Mobil. That, too, will be a question in the new trial.

The leak, which lasted 37 days, caused 26,000 gallons of gasoline to seep into groundwater in the rural Maryland community. The jury awarded residents $495 million in compensatory damages in addition to the punitive award.

In November, Exxon Mobil informed the Iraqi government that it would sell its interest[4] in the $50 billion West Qurna-1 oilfield, which currently produces 400,000 barrels of crude every day, to other oil companies.

Shares of Exxon Mobil rose fractionally in Wednesday morning trading.

Endnotes:
  1. [Image]: http://investorplace.com/wp-content/uploads/2012/10/exxon-sign-at-night-630.jpg
  2. won’t be getting a $1 billion jury award for punitive damages: http://www.bloomberg.com/news/2013-02-27/exxon-wins-reversal-of-gas-leak-punitive-damages-award.html
  3. XOM: http://studio-5.financialcontent.com/investplace/quote?Symbol=XOM
  4. that it would sell its interest: http://investorplace.com/2012/11/exxon-to-pull-out-of-huge-iraq-oil-project/

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