A trial involving Maryland families who sued one of the nation’s largest oil companies started last month in Towson, Maryland. More than two years ago, thousands of gallons of gas spilled in Jacksonville, Maryland, north of Baltimore. About 90 families filed the lawsuit and are seeking $1 billion in damages from ExxonMobil. They contend that their water wells are contaminated.
In February 2006, ExxonMobil reported that gasoline had been leaking into the ground for more than a month at a Jacksonville service station. An underground pipe was the source of the leak, and the company began cleaning up the site after the leak was discovered. More than 25,000 gallons of gas leaked. The state says the well water still has contamination in it. Many people in the area won’t drink the water or bathe in it. About 250 families have been affected by the leak. They’ve gone through regular water testing and relied on bottled water, which Exxon has provided.
The State of Maryland recently settled its lawsuit with ExxonMobil. According to Attorney General Doug Gansler, ExxonMobil will pay $4 million in civil penalties. The settlement is the largest environmental penalty in Maryland’s history. It will be interesting to see how the individuals’ lawsuit comes out. At press time that case was still going and it’s projected to last for several weeks.
Source: Associated Press
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