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Exxon’s rash class action

Mar. 23, 2000

A New Orleans court is considering whether to OK a class-action lawsuit against an Exxon-Mobil oil refinery, which 8,000 residents say discharged chemicals that eventually washed into the local water supply during a heavy rainstorm in 1998.

The plaintiffs allege that their tap water smelled strongly of gasoline, and that the pollution caused their myriad health problems; two plaintiffs complained, for example, of strange rashes. Testimony and records from local doctors, however, indicated that yeast fungus caused the rashes.

The doctors and, of course, Exxon-Mobil, are fingering the fungus, but lawyers for the residents say the ugly rashes shouldn’t even be an issue yet. The plaintiffs argue that the high number of complaints and symptoms is enough to show there were dangerous chemicals in the tap water, and warrants a class-action suit.

Read the NEW ORLEANS TIMES-PICAYUNE story here.

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Which is also a pretty great way to describe Mother Jones' mission: People coming together around the truth to hold power accountable.

And right now, we need to raise about $400,000 from our online readers over the next two months to hit our annual goal and make good on that mission. Read more about the information war we find ourselves in and how people-powered, independent reporting can and must rise to the challenge—and please support our team's truth-telling journalism with a donation if you can right now.

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