The Peter G. Angelos law firm filed the lawsuit as a class action on behalf of about 150 families and businesses whose wells were contaminated by the gasoline additive MTBE. The plaintiffs are seeking more than $530 million in individual damages and billions of dollars in restoration damages.
Lawyers for Exxon Mobil Corp. and the operator of the station contended that the plaintiffs should be required to file individual lawsuits.
After hearing the arguments at Hardford County Circuit Court, regarding the vapor leakage at an Exxon gas station in Fallston, Judge William O. Carr decided to issue the ruling about class action status later.
According to plaintiffs lawyers their clients shared a common interest in the leak, which residents learned about in 2004. The lawyers said the station caused the vast majority of any contamination and polluted a single aquifer. Lawyers for the oil company said there were seven sources of contamination.
However, a Baltimore County jury awarded more than $150 million to residents this month, where plaintiffs sued Exxon Mobil over a 2006 leak at an Exxon station in Jacksonville in which 26,000 gallons of gasoline seeped into the groundwater. Those lawsuits were tried individually.