In 2011, a Baltimore County jury ordered Exxon Mobile Corporation to pay almost $500 million in damages to help a myriad of families and businesses in Jacksonville, Florida. The plaintiff was represented by Charles G. Bernstein of The Law Offices of Peter Angelos.
The large corporation was ordered to compensate the plaintiffs regarding claims that an underground gas leak from 2006 caused emotional distress, lost property value and medical monitoring for a variety of individuals in the area. Here, the Baltimore environmental litigation attorneys discuss the significant verdict and what it means for large industrial corporations that do not prioritize proper health and safety regulations.
Groundwater Contamination Can Have a Severe Impact on Public Health and Environmental Integrity
Many big businesses rely heavily on comprehensive industrial processes that use or produce hazardous materials. These potentially toxic materials and waste products can have a devastating and long-lasting impact on human and environmental health if not handled and disposed of in a proper manner. When big businesses fail to comply with health and safety regulations determined by federal entities, such as the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, they risk contaminating groundwater, leading to diseases such as hepatitis and dysentery; causing immeasurable harm to the environment by altering the health of soil, water and plant and animal life; risking the integrity and property value of homes and local business; and other hazardous situations that are difficult to reverse.
The most common sources of groundwater contamination include leaks from storage tanks, septic systems, hazardous waste sites, landfills and big businesses engaging in industrial practices. Failure for these entities to properly handle and dispose of hazardous material, gasoline, waste and toxic chemicals can have drastic effects on the environment and society, which is why companies that are the culprit of groundwater contamination deserve to be held legally responsible for their negligence.
A Baltimore County Jury Ordered ExxonMobil to Pay Millions of Dollars in Damages
In 2006, an ExxonMobile gas leak spilled approximately 26,000 gallons of unleaded gasoline into groundwater. In 2011, a Baltimore jury found multinational oil and gas corporation, ExxonMobil, guilty of fraud and ordered them to pay $495 million in damages regarding the underground gasoline leak that caused harm to a variety of businesses and families in Jacksonville, Florida. The plaintiff’s lawyer, Charles G. Bernstein of The Law Offices of Peter Angelos P.C., accused ExxonMobil of taking a “leak and lie” approach to the significant oil spill that resulted from a pressurized fuel line, meaning they misled state and county officials as well as the community of Jacksonville about the details and severity of the gas leak.
Bernstein had urged the jury to return a verdict of three to five times the sum they had awarded in compensatory damages. Ultimately, the lawsuit included approximately 400 individuals and demonstrated the immense repercussions of misleading and deceiving the public regarding the environmental damage caused by negligence.
Seek Justice with The Environmental Litigation Attorneys at The Law Offices of Peter Angelos
When large corporations attempt to deceive the public about their negligent actions and these actions lead to severe and life-threatening contaminations of our vital groundwater, they are committing an egregious act that merits legal and financial consequences. The Baltimore environmental litigation attorneys have extensive experience representing individuals, communities and businesses impacted by negligent business practices. The case involving ExxonMobile, litigated and won by The Law Offices of Peter Angelos, is a testament to our attorney’s impressive skill and dedication to seeking justice for victims of groundwater contamination. To learn more about the comprehensive environmental litigation services at The Law Offices of Peter Angelos, contact our Baltimore office today.