US appeals court dismisses suit against Arkansas pipeline
Posted May 12
LITTLE ROCK, Ark. — A federal appeals court has upheld a ruling that dismissed and decertified a class-action lawsuit against oil giant Exxon Mobil.
The lawsuit was filed by four property owners in central Arkansas after the 2013 rupture of the Pegasus pipeline. The rupture spilled tens of thousands of gallons of crude oil into drainage ditches and a cove of Lake Conway, the Arkansas Democrat-Gazette (http://bit.ly/2qAqPki ) reported.
The lawsuit sought to recover damages resulting from what the property owners argued was the company's breach of contract and diminished property values. The suit also sought to force Exxon Mobil to remove or replace the pipeline, which was built in the late 1940s.
The pipeline ran from Corsicana, Texas, through parts of Arkansas and Missouri to Patoka, Illinois. Exxon Mobil shuttered the pipeline shortly after the spill. Only a segment in Texas has reopened.
In March 2015, U.S. District Judge Brian Miller in Little Rock reversed a class-action status to the lawsuit and dismissed the case. A class action stood to affect thousands of landowners in four states, and Miller argued there was a lack of commonality among those landowners.
The 8th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals upheld Miller's decision on Thursday.
Thomas Thrash, an attorney for the plaintiffs, said his clients were disappointed with the decision. He said they haven't decided if they'll appeal further.
An Exxon Mobil spokesman said the company agreed with the court decision.