- Two men seriously hurt in crash near Fruitland (9/21/16)3
- Community helps Jackson family with two cases of muscular dystrophy (9/19/16)
- Perryville man arrested for alleged patronizing prostitution, harassment (9/23/16)6
- Eldorado Resorts to buy Isle of Capri Casinos (9/20/16)7
- Concealed-carry restrictions remain in Missouri despite new state law (9/18/16)22
- Video and evidence largely confirm trooper's claims in April traffic stop shooting (9/23/16)6
- Funeral procession of former Cape Girardeau police chief Henry H. Gerecke (9/22/16)17
- Cape man accused of attacking pregnant girlfriend (9/22/16)
- Poplar Bluff man accused of beating a grandmother to death with baseball bat (9/18/16)
- Cape man may lose eye after shovel beating, police say (9/25/16)2
Ala. court throws out $3.5 billion judgment against Exxon Mobil
MONTGOMERY, Ala. -- The state Supreme Court reversed a $3.5 billion judgment against Exxon Mobil on Friday, ruling in a gas royalty dispute that a confidential legal opinion should never have been admitted as evidence.
The ruling sent the case back for possible retrial, which must not include the confidential document written for the energy giant. It did not address the size of the judgment, which Exxon argued in its appeal was excessive and unwarranted.
The dispute stemmed from oil and gas leases Exxon, now Exxon Mobil, signed with Alabama in the 1980s. The contracts let the company drill wells in Mobile Bay in return for paying the state a share of the profits.
State officials and the company soon argued over how much Alabama was due, and both sued.
Exxon Mobil lawyer David Boyd said Friday's ruling showed that the trial had been unfair.
"We're pleased we'll have the opportunity to have the issues decided in a fair proceeding," he said.
Gov. Don Siegelman said he believes a second jury will also conclude that the company committed fraud.
The justices said the trial judge wrongly let jurors see an internal legal memo that outlined the position that Exxon attorneys believed the state would take.