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Consulting firm files motion to be removed from oil spill suit

Posted: October 10, 2013 - 2:12pm

The Center for Toxicology and Environmental Health filed a motion Wednesday to be removed from a lawsuit filed in May by dozens of Faulkner County residents as result of the March 29 oil spill in Northwoods subdivision in Mayflower.

The suit, which names ExxonMobil Pipeline Company, ExxonMobil Corporation and CTEH, among others, as defendants, claims the defendants were negligent in their actions, and the actions of ExxonMobil defendants violated the Arkansas Solid Waste Management Act.

The suit continues to allege the defendants’ actions resulted in the harm of the more than 60 plaintiffs.

Damage to real estate property, mental suffering, physical injuries and pain and suffering are among the injuries and damages cited in the complaint.

The group, made up of residents and property owners, are seeking a jury trial and punitive damages, however, the complaint does not provide an estimate of how much money the plaintiffs seek.

Wednesday’s motion filed by CTEH is the second of its kind filed by the science-based environmental consulting firm, court documents show.

A similar motion to have the firm removed from the suit was filed June 28.

Wednesday’s motion, filed by CTEH attorneys from Perkins & Trotter, states the suit “throws a wide dragnet over numerous defendants not associated with ownership or operation of the pipeline.”

“The complaint contains no allegations suggesting that CTEH had anything to do with ownership, operation, or even consulting services related to the pipeline prior to the Mayflower (oil) spill,” the motion states.

The complaint also alleges CTEH was negligent when conducting air, ground and water sampling following the spill which impacted clean up, restoration, remediation and health risk decisions.

The defendants further claim the actions of CTEH “did not meet reliable industry standards” and “protected the interests of its corporate client ExxonMobil over the interests of the public.”

CTEH’s motion called the complaint’s mention of industry standards “unspecified,” and continued that the plaintiffs’ claim the firm breached a duty to the public was not a duty recognized by Arkansas law.

CTEH further states the plaintiffs failed to produce factual evidence they were “injured as a proximate result of CTEH’s alleged negligence.”

The suit is one of three currently filed in Faulkner County Circuit Court against ExxonMobil and other defendants, relating to the oil spill.

The latest suit, filed Monday on behalf of 64 Mayflower and Lake Conway residents by Brazil, Adlong & Mickel, claims ExxonMobil failed to follow its emergency plan following the spill.

(Staff writer Lee Hogan can be reached by email at lee.hogan@thecabin.net or by phone at 505-1246. Follow Lee Hogan on Twitter at https://twitter.com/LCD_LeeHogan. To comment on this and other stories in the Log Cabin, log on to www.thecabin.net. Send us your news at www.thecabin.net/submit)

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