Jury says Exxon must pay $1.5 billion for leak: report

Reuters News
|
Posted: Jul 01, 2011 8:08 AM
Jury says Exxon must pay $1.5 billion for leak: report

NEW YORK (Reuters) - A jury in Maryland awarded plaintiffs suing Exxon Mobil more than $1.5 billion for a 2006 leak at a gasoline station, the Baltimore Sun reported on Friday.

The Sun, quoting a source who had viewed the verdict, said the jury had awarded the 160 plaintiffs in the case against the oil company more than $1 billion in punitive damages.

That figure is in addition the $495 million in compensation that the jury awarded the plaintiffs for damage caused by the 26,000 gallons of gasoline that leaked from a pressurized line in Jacksonville, Maryland over 37 days in January and February in 2006.

The leak reached the groundwater in the community that relies on private wells for drinking water.

Reuters was not able to confirm the amounts, and neither Exxon Mobil nor a lawyer for the plaintiffs were immediately available to comment.

A lawyer for Exxon Mobil said the verdicts were not supported by the facts, the newspaper reported, and the company planned to appeal.

The company has said it had already spent more than $46 million on the spill's cleanup and been fined $4 million by the state, the paper reported.

(Reporting by Matt Daily; Editing by Derek Caney)