U.S. District Judge Billy Roy Wilson today sent a class action lawsuit against ExxonMobil over the Pegasus pipeline spill back to Faulkner County Circuit Court, where it was originally filed. The case, Duncan et al v ExxonMobil Corporation, also names David L. Raulston, who it describes as an Arkansas-based maintenance and operations technician for the pipeline.
Exxon argued that the plaintiffs had no legal claim against Raulston. Without him, the case would have fallen under federal jurisdiction because it would include only out-of-state defendants. Judge Wilson predicted Raulston might be found liable to plaintiffs. Which was enough for him to send the case back to the state.
The plaintiffs’ attorneys have asked for a jury trial. In that the aftermath of the spill has gotten a lot of media play in Central Arkansas, a hometown jury trial is probably a big win for them.
Jeff and Angel Duncan, Lynn and Mary Mayhall and Colonial Roofing, LLC. are the plaintiffs. They allege a variety of sickness, property damage, business damage, aggravation and inconvenience.