June 16 (UPI) — Legal teams representing hundreds of families in Arkansas announced favorable settlements related to a 2013 oil spill from an Exxon Mobil pipeline.
The Hare Wynn Newell and Newton law firm of Little Rock announced the “favorable settlement” for residents affected by the release from Exxon’s Pegasus oil pipeline.
“After an estimated 150,000 gallons of abrasive oil spilled through the Northwoods subdivision of Mayflower, our attorneys worked hard to represent the residents who lived in close proximity to the spill,” the firm said in a statement late Thursday.
About 5,000 barrels of a diluted form of heavy Canadian crude oil spilled from a 22-foot rupture in the pipeline in Mayflower, Ark. A 243-page report published by the federal government said it was “highly probable” small cracks occurred when the original pipe was built in the 1940s. These cracks then would have spread and merged to form larger faults, which may have contributed to the rupture.
The federal Pipeline and Hazardous Materials Safety Administration concluded its study into the incident in 2015 and assessed a civil penalty of $2.63 million to Exxon for violating federal pipeline safety regulations.
At least 22 homes were evacuated because of the March 29 spill. State regulators said Exxon should have known about the potential for failure.
A separate legal firm, Davis & Whitlock, announced June 1 their team reached a settlement over the spill. According to their statement on the deal, the rupture led to “permanent displacement of many residents” impacted by the incident.
Davis & Whitlock said the terms of the settlement were “satisfactory.” The settlements are sealed and Exxon had no public statement on the issue.