A second class-action lawsuit against ExxonMobil was filed Thursday in the U.S. District Court, Eastern District of Arkansas, Western Division, according to a press release from Parker Waichmann LLP, a national law firm "dedicated to protecting the victims of environmental contamination."
The firm has joined with Duncan Firm P.A., Thrash Law Firm P.A. and Don Barrett, P.A., to file a class-action lawsuit for those owning property abutting Lake Conway, which they allege was left "physically contaminated and polluted" by the ExxonMobil Pegasus pipeline rupture.
ExxonMobil Corporation d/b/a ExxonMobil, ExxonMobil Pipeline Company and Mobil Pipe Line Company are named as defendants in Case No. 4:13-cv-00199-BSM.
Lake Conway spans approximately 6,700 acres, making it the largest man-made lake in the United States, according to the complaint; and is used for recreational activities, including fishing and boating, and for residential living.
According to the press release, on March 29, 2013, "the worst tar sands spill in Arkansas history occurred as the result of the fracturing of ExxonMobil’s pipeline," which counsel alleges to have polluted and contaminated Lake Conway and the property around it with "poisonous, carcinogenic and toxic chemicals, including but not limited to, benzene, toluene and other highly dangerous chemicals."
They also allege that hydrogen sulfide, a poisonous and toxic gas, was emitted and has contaminated and polluted the air in the area.
Plaintiffs named in the lawsuit are said to own property bordering Lake Conway and have experienced property damage, as well as "interference, aggravation, annoyance, inconvenience and intrusion from the tar sands and toxic chemical contaminants and pollution ... after the March 29, 2013 Pegasus Pipeline fracture and rupture," according to the complaint.
The suit also states that the Pegasus pipeline, built in the 1940s, originally pumped liquid oil from Texas to the northern United States.
"About 60 years later, during which time the pipeline experienced problems, the Defendants shut it down for several years. The Defendants eventually decided to start using the pipeline again, only they reversed the flow direction; additionally, the pipeline began pumping tar sands from Western Canada through it, versus the liquid oil it was originally built to pump," the complaint alleges.
"The company also decided to increase the Pegasus pipeline’s capacity by 50 percent, increasing from 66,000 barrels per day to 99,000 barrels per day of Canadian tar sands.
"At the same time, however, the company did not upgrade or replace the pipeline for this use," according to the Complaint, which added that "ExxonMobil also knew that the pipeline was experiencing seam problems. About four years later, the fracture in Mayflower, Ark., occurred."
The suit seeks monetary damages for property damage suffered by plaintiffs and putative class members who have property around Lake Conway.
In April, a class-action lawsuit was filed by the Duncan Law Firm and the Thrash Law Firm out of Little Rock on behalf of two residents of the Northwoods subdivision in Mayflower.
That lawsuit claims that property values are diminished because of the pipeline’s defective conditions.
Parker Waichman LLP is a mass tort, environmental and personal injury law firm that represents plaintiffs nationwide. The firm has offices in New York, New Jersey, Washington, D.C. and Florida; and is offering free case evaluations to those who owned property abutting Lake Conway prior to the day of the spill.
More information can be found at www.yourlawyer.com, or by calling 1-800-529-4636.
(Megan Reynolds is a staff writer and can be reached by phone at 501-505-1277 or by email at firstname.lastname@example.org. Follow us on Twitter @LCDonline, @meganpreynolds.)