Supreme Court Turns Down Exxon Mobil's MTBE Petition

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By Steven Sellers

May 16 — Exxon Mobil's effort to overturn a $236 million MTBE contamination verdict ended May 16 when the Supreme Court denied review of the company's claims that the New Hampshire jury verdict amounted to a “trial by formula”.

Exxon Mobil Corp. contended its due process right to present a defense was denied at the trial because the state was permitted to rely on statistical approximations of statewide contamination of drinking wells caused by an additive, methyl tertiary butyl ether, no longer used in gasoline (31 TXLR 370, 4/21/16).

New Hampshire brought the suit in its capacity as the protector of the state's waters. Exxon Mobil argued that approach could be used by other states in proving similar cases without the individualized showing of harm typically required in individual suits or class actions.

The law offices of Bancroft, as well as O'Melveny & Myers represent Exxon Mobil Corp. and Exxon Mobil Oil Corp.

To contact the reporter on this story: Steven M. Sellers in Washington at ssellers@bna.com

To contact the editors responsible for this story: Steven Patrick at spatrick@bna.com and Nicholas Datlowe at ndatlowe@bna.com