Pennsylvania Jury Awards No Damages in 1993 Gas Spill Suit

September 20, 2010

A northeastern Pennsylvania jury has decided against awarding damages to four people who claim they were sickened by a gasoline spill that contaminated hundreds of homes almost two decades ago.

The Luzerne County jury decided that the two couples waited too long to sue Exxon Mobil and three other companies over the massive 1993 leak from underground storage tanks that contaminated 400 homes in Hazleton and Hazle Township.

The jury on Tuesday found Tranguch Tire Service Center had acted negligently on behalf of the oil giant, but did not find Exxon Mobil directly negligent.

An attorney for the plaintiffs said Exxon Mobil knew the area’s corrosive soil would erode underground steel gas tanks. But the company’s attorney said it had no say in the tire company’s operation.

The plaintiffs say the will decide whether to appeal while preparing a post-trial motion.

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