State Supreme Court Leaves Record MtBE Judgment Against Exxon Mobil In Place

Oct 2, 2015

The New Hampshire Supreme Court has affirmed a record judgment against Exxon Mobil in a case over the chemical additive MtBE.

The $236 million verdict reached by a jury in 2013 was the largest jury award in state history. Exxon Mobil argued it used MtBE to reduce air pollution under federal law and shouldn’t be held liable for contamination in the state’s groundwater.

In its ruling Friday, the state’s high court rejected the company’s request for a new trial and about 10 other points it raised.

Senior Assistant Attorney General Allen Brooks says the state is pleased with the ruling, but adds Exxon may launch more legal challenges. “There is still reconsideration to the state Supreme Court," Brooks said, "and then presumably possibly a try to get this before the United States Supreme Court. It won’t be until that plays out, I think, that we actually get the money.”

New Hampshire sought damages from 26 oil companies over MtBE contamination. Exxon was the only oil company with which it didn’t reach a settlement.