Pretzel & Stouffer Obtains Victory for Exxon Mobil in Barge Explosion Case
On August 9, 2011, a Pretzel & Stouffer team consisting of Ed Ruff, Mimi Moon, Mike Turiello, Rick Kenyon, and Jim Gillingham obtained a complete victory for Exxon Mobil Corporation in the case of the United States of America v. Egan Marine Corporation, et. al. The case is one of five pieces of litigation arising out of the January 19, 2005 explosion of Egan Marine Tank Barge EMC 423 on the Chicago Sanitary and Ship Canal. The explosion led to the sinking of the vessel, the death of a member of the crew, and partial discharge of the vessel’s cargo of 14,000 barrels of clarified slurry oil into the Canal.
Egan Marine impleaded Exxon as a third-party defendant seeking contribution and indemnity under the Oil Pollution Act and alleging Exxon should be directly liable to the United States. However, USDC Judge Leinenweber found for Exxon on all aspects of Egan Marine’s Third-Party Complaint, including claims alleging violations of the US Coast Guard regulations, implied warranty, and failure to warn of foreseeable hazards inherent in the cargo. A Motion for Reconsideration has also been denied, and so Exxon will not need to be involved in the trial, slated to start on September 12.