Judge sends ExxonMobil lawsuit back to state court

LITTLE ROCK (AP) - A federal judge is sending a lawsuit against ExxonMobil Corp., Exxon Pipeline Co. and a company employee back to state court.

U.S. District Judge Bill Wilson issued an order Friday that sends the case back to Faulkner County Circuit Court.

The lawsuit was filed after the company's Pegasus Pipeline ruptured and spilled 150,000 gallons of crude oil into the small town of Mayflower on March 29.

The company moved the lawsuit to federal court and said that the employee named in the action had no involvement in the decisions over the pipeline's flow.

Wilson ruled that the employee "might" be held liable under Arkansas law because he was responsible for maintaining and repairing the pipeline's electrical equipment.

Copyright 2013 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.