News

Law & the Courts

New York Judge Rules in Favor of Exxon in Climate Change Fraud Case

Theodore Wells, the lawyer for Exxon, exits New York State Supreme Court in the Manhattan borough of New York City, U.S., November 7, 2019. (Brendan McDermid/Reuters)

A New York Supreme Court Justice ruled in favor of Exxon Mobil Corp. in a climate change fraud trial on Tuesday, finding that the largest oil and gas company in the U.S. did not mislead shareholders about the financial cost of climate change, as the state alleged.

“The office of the Attorney General failed to prove, by a preponderance of the evidence, that ExxonMobil made any material misstatements or omissions about its practices and procedures that misled any reasonable investor,” New York Supreme Court Justice Barry Ostrager wrote in his ruling.

The judge added that the New York Attorney General’s office also failed to produce any testimony from Exxon investors who felt they had been misled, despite the office saying it would call such witnesses.

The $1.6 billion suit was the culmination of a four-year fight between Exxon and the Attorney General’s office, which launched an investigation into the company in 2015.

New York originally accused Exxon of knowing what the effects of carbon emissions on climate change were but concealing them for years.

Later, New York narrowed the case under the state’s Martin Act, a nearly 100-year-old law intended to protect investors from false information disseminated by companies, which does not require proof of the company’s malicious intent. The three-week trial ended in November with New York dropping its charge that Exxon intentionally misled investors.

The lawsuit is one of many climate change cases across the country targeting oil and gas companies. Massachusetts filed a similar suit against Exxon in October, claiming the company misled investors and consumers about the effects climate change regulations would have on its business.

Exxon hailed Tuesday’s ruling, calling New York’s investigation of the company “baseless.”

“We provided our investors with accurate information on the risks of climate change. The court agreed that the Attorney General failed to make a case, even with the extremely low threshold of the Martin Act in its favor,” Exxon spokesperson Casey Norton in a statement.

Send a tip to the news team at NR.

Most Popular

William Tecumseh Sherman: A Warrior in Full

Statues of William Tecumseh Sherman stand throughout the country, including a striking gilded-bronze one by Augustus Saint-Gaudens outside Central Park in New York City. Reading a biography of Sherman in the context of the current spate of iconoclasm brings home how anyone looks immaculate on a pedestal, or to ... Read More

William Tecumseh Sherman: A Warrior in Full

Statues of William Tecumseh Sherman stand throughout the country, including a striking gilded-bronze one by Augustus Saint-Gaudens outside Central Park in New York City. Reading a biography of Sherman in the context of the current spate of iconoclasm brings home how anyone looks immaculate on a pedestal, or to ... Read More
Elections

The Man Who Wasn’t There

At first glance, Joe Biden’s strategy of avoiding the spotlight is paying off. He maintains his consistent lead over Donald Trump in national polls. In June, in the aftermath of the Lafayette Park fiasco, his advantage in the RealClearPolitics average expanded to ten points. The critical swing states of ... Read More
Elections

The Man Who Wasn’t There

At first glance, Joe Biden’s strategy of avoiding the spotlight is paying off. He maintains his consistent lead over Donald Trump in national polls. In June, in the aftermath of the Lafayette Park fiasco, his advantage in the RealClearPolitics average expanded to ten points. The critical swing states of ... Read More
Economy & Business

What’s an ‘American’ Car?

I’m not too sure about Dmitri’s ode to American cars, because I am not too sure what is an American car. In what sense should a Jeep Compass manufactured in Mexico be thought of as American while a Mercedes GLE made in Alabama isn’t? The answer cannot be corporate ownership: Both companies have ... Read More
Economy & Business

What’s an ‘American’ Car?

I’m not too sure about Dmitri’s ode to American cars, because I am not too sure what is an American car. In what sense should a Jeep Compass manufactured in Mexico be thought of as American while a Mercedes GLE made in Alabama isn’t? The answer cannot be corporate ownership: Both companies have ... Read More