The Unprecedented Move in a Lawsuit Against Exxon-Mobil

Exxon is calling it a political stunt.

By Alexandra HartNovember 22, 2016 7:20 am

Texas-based oil giant Exxon-Mobil is in an unusual position right now. The attorney generals of New York and Massachusetts are suing the company for research they did decades ago. They allege the company withheld knowledge about the effects of its products on climate change. Although major corporations are often caught up in litigation of one form or another, this case is getting attention due to the allegations.

Exxon calls this a political stunt and has counter-sued the attorney generals. Now, a U.S. district judge in Dallas has ordered Massachusetts Attorney General Maura Healy to appear in a Dallas courtroom in a couple of weeks to submit to questioning from Exxon lawyers.

It’s a move that has been called “unprecedented.”

Thomas McGarity, a professor of environmental law at the University of Texas School of Law, says it’s a very unusual case.

“We have attorney generals that are filing lawsuits on behalf of all the citizens of their state,” McGarity says. “What’s especially unusual is to demand that the attorney general, him or herself, stand for a deposition in another state. I’ve never heard of that.”

What you will hear in this segment:

– What makes this move so unusual
– The kind of precedent this sets
– The broad implications of this case

Post by Nadia Hamdan.