Jump to Navigation
Jump to Content

Sullins v. Exxon/Mobil Corp

ELR Citation: 41 ELR 20085
Nos. No. 08-04927, (N.D. Cal., 01/26/2011)

A district court ruled in favor of the defendant in a property owners' suit seeking to recover damages, cleanup costs, and a cleanup injunction resulting from environmental contamination on their property allegedly caused by an oil company. The owners failed to prove by a preponderance of the evidence that the contamination on their property poses a substantial and imminent endangerment to health or the environment under RCRA. At most their evidence shows that there is substantial contamination on the property and that the level of the contamination warrants some kind of screening risk assessment by the regulatory agencies. However, the owners fail to point to any testimony that someone or something may be exposed to a risk of harm by the contamination if remedial action is not taken. The property owners' claim for equitable contribution also failed. Underlying cleanup orders create a joint obligation upon the parties, but the property owners have failed to prove by a preponderance of the evidence that they have paid more than their fair share of that obligation.