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new mexico court rules against oil company

New Mexico court ruling revives lawsuit against oil company

ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. (AP) — A ruling by the New Mexico Supreme Court has revived a lawsuit by residents of a southeastern New Mexico neighborhood who claimed operations by an oil company resulted in contamination that caused health problems.

The justices say a lower court erred by preventing the residents from introducing scientific evidence and expert testimony in support of their case.

The case was ordered back to district court for further proceedings.

Residents had alleged there was environmental contamination in an area that became a housing subdivision in Hobbs.

A jury in 2007 ruled in favor of Shell Oil Co., which had storage tanks in the area from 1946 until 1993. There also was an unlined storage pit for oilfield wastes that was buried in the 1960s. Housing development in the area started in the 1970s.

In related news, Appellate court upholds New Mexico’s oil and gas pit rule.

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