Arkansas Plaintiffs Want Order Dismissing Exxon Oil-Spill Lawsuit Vacated

April 17, 2015

Plaintiffs are urging a federal judge in Little Rock, Ark., to vacate his order dismissing a class-action lawsuit against Exxon Mobil, claiming the oil giant suppressed evidence in the case.

The lawsuit, filed over a 2013 oil spill in a Mayflower subdivision, was dismissed last month by the judge. It had been filed on behalf of landowners whose property was physically crossed by the pipeline.

The Arkansas Democrat-Gazette reports the plaintiffs’ attorneys contend in a new filing that the judge’s order should be overturned because of new evidence. They claim that the evidence filed under seal shows that Exxon Mobil withheld evidence until after it filed a successful motion in court.

“Exxon’s timing of its discovery production after filing its motion for summary judgment placed Plaintiffs in an extremely, unfair position for complete resolution of the case,” the plaintiffs said. “This unfair prejudice is heightened by Exxon’s production of approximately one million pages of discovery materials, after Exxon filed its Motion for Summary Judgment.

Exxon Mobil spokesman Christian Flathman says they agree with the judge’s original order and will respond in court.

The Pegasus pipeline spilled an estimated 210,000 gallons of heavy crude oil on March 29, 2013 into Mayflower’s Northwoods subdivision, drainage ditches and a cove of Lake Conway.

The lawsuit only applied to a 650-mile section of the pipeline, which has since been shut down. The pipeline’s remaining 211 miles, has resumed service, and runs from Corsicana, Texas to Nederland, Texas.

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