The owner of a recreational-vehicle dealership in Mayflower has filed a lawsuit against ExxonMobil, among others, as result of the March 29 oil spill, which the owner says resulted in a steep decline in business.
The suit was filed Tuesday by DWB, LLC, known as Mayflower RV, in Faulkner County Circuit Court. The suit names ExxonMobil, Mobil Pipeline Company, ExxonMobil Corporation, and four individual pipeline maintenance workers as defendants. The suit claims the defendants were negligent in their operation and maintenance of the Pegasus pipeline.
According to the complaint, Mayflower RV is located on Interstate Drive, next to Interstate 40. It’s the same road that the dealership says was used by and blocked off by the defendants, which resulted in a "significant business disruption and economic losses" to the dealership.
"The police checkpoint, with long lines and tents, stopped traffic up to 25 minutes at times, deterred traffic and customers from visiting Mayflower RV," the complaint states. "And led to a loss of business for Mayflower RV, including a decrease in RV sales and service."
Between March 30 and May 30, the RV dealership says sales were down almost 75 percent, or more than $268,000, from the same period in 2012.
The dealership said it presented a claim for damages to the defendants April 22, 2013, however, the defendants responded May 6, stating additional documentation was needed to determine the loss claim.
The dealership says there have been multiple meetings with the defendants, regarding the claim for damages, but no resolution.
"As of the date of this filing, more than 200 days have passed since the plaintiff presented its claim to the defendants on April 22, 2013," the complaint states. "And the claim has not been settled by payment to the plaintiff, nor has any offer been made to the plaintiff."
The dealership also stated it has had to access a bank line of credit "to maintain common business functions and to avoid non-payment to creditors."
The suit was the 11th filed against ExxonMobil since the Pegasus pipeline burst in the Northwoods subdivision in late March. The oil spill sent more than 200,000 gallons of crude oil into the neighborhood and surrounding area.
(Staff writer Lee Hogan can be reached by email at email@example.com or by phone at 505-1246. Follow Lee Hogan on Twitter at twitter.com/LCD_LeeHogan. To comment on this and other stories, log on to thecabin.net.)