"High Court Throws Out $1B Fraud Verdict in Exxon Leak Case"

"Maryland's highest court on Tuesday struck down the bulk of a fraud case against ExxonMobil Corp. stemming from an underground gasoline leak in Baltimore County, reversing most of $1.65 billion in judgments and dealing a stunning blow to hundreds of families."

"In two opinions on cases arising from the 26,000 gallon spill in Jacksonville in 2006, the Court of Appeals tossed out claims of fraud and ruled that plaintiffs could not collect for emotional distress or the cost of medical care to monitor possible symptoms of illness.

The rulings reverse court victories secured by residents and businesses. The court rejected $1 billion in punitive damages from a $1.5 billion verdict handed down in 2011 after a six-month jury trial. The court also rejected some claims from a 2009 case in which a jury awarded $150 million to a smaller number of plaintiffs and ordered some returned to Baltimore County Circuit Court for trial."

Arthur Hirsch reports for the Baltimore Sun February 26, 2013.

Source: Baltimore Sun, 02/27/2013