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ExxonMobil faces lawsuit after Arkansas oil spill

By CNN Staff
updated 12:11 PM EDT, Tue April 9, 2013
Spilled crude oil is seen in a drainage ditch near evacuated homes in Mayflower, Arkansas, on Sunday, March 31. An Exxon Mobil pipeline carrying Canadian crude oil ruptured on March 29 causing the evacuation of about two dozen homes. Mayflower residents have filed a class-action lawsuit against the company. Spilled crude oil is seen in a drainage ditch near evacuated homes in Mayflower, Arkansas, on Sunday, March 31. An Exxon Mobil pipeline carrying Canadian crude oil ruptured on March 29 causing the evacuation of about two dozen homes. Mayflower residents have filed a class-action lawsuit against the company.
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STORY HIGHLIGHTS
  • Residents file a class-action lawsuit, seeking more than $5 million in damages
  • ExxonMobil has promised to cover oil spill cleanup costs
  • A pipeline rupture allowed thousands of barrels of crude oil to flow into a residential area

(CNN) -- Residents in Mayflower, Arkansas, have filed a class-action lawsuit against ExxonMobil after a pipeline rupture that allowed thousands of barrels of heavy crude oil to flow into a residential area.

They are seeking more than $5 million in damages.

"This Arkansas class action lawsuit involves the worst crude oil and tar sands spill in Arkansas history," read the lawsuit, which was filed Friday in U.S. District Court, Eastern District of Arkansas.

Exxon Mobil promises to cover oil spill cleanup costs

Rivers of oil in Arkansas town

According to the lawsuit, more than 19,000 barrels were spilled.

ExxonMobil has said that between 3,500 and 5,000 barrels of heavy crude leaked from the ruptured pipeline. It has promised to cover cleanup costs.

Arkansas Attorney General Dustin McDaniel opened an investigation into what caused a 2- or 3-inch gash in the underground Pegasus pipeline, which began spewing crude on March 29.

The pipeline carries Canadian crude from Illinois to Texas.

Opinion: Maybe this oil spill will stick

CNN's Joe Sutton contributed to this report.

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