MoJo Must Reads


_
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.

HN

WE DON'T KNOW

What's going to happen next as the headlines grow crazier and more disconcerting by the day. But we do know the job of an independent, unrelenting press is more important than ever—and the ongoing commitment of MoJo readers to fight for a democracy where facts matter and all can participate is absolutely vital.

If you feel the urgency deep in your bones like we do, please consider signing up as a monthly donor during our fall pledge drive to support Mother Jones' fair and fearless reporting for the long haul (or make a one-time gift if that works better for you). The headlines may fade, but the need to investigate the powerful never will.