64 Mayflower families settle with ExxonMobil
MAYFLOWER, Ark. (KATV) —
Families affected by the 2013 Pegasus Pipeline oil spill in Mayflower have reached a settlement with ExxonMobil.
As a part of the settlement, the 64 families a part of the lawsuit can't disclose what they ended up getting from ExxonMobil.
Mike Fletcher, one of the victims of the spill says he is pleased considering the turmoil they had to endure for several years.
"It just breaks your heart to see your child in that much pain and suffering the way he was having to,” Fletcher said.
Fletcher was a single father taking care of his autistic son Taylor in Mayflower when the Pegasus Pipeline burst in 2013, sending a mess of oil right into his yard. He says his son was consumed with his sensitivity to the smell.
"Everything was bothering him. He couldn't sleep at night. He started having sinus problems which he never had before,” Fletcher said.
Fletcher's problems, just one example of what those families endured, according to lawyer Shawn Daniels with Hare Wynn Newell & Newton law firm.
"They've played by the rules. They go to jobs. They get their kids to school and they're doing everything right and through no fault of their own they have their lives just turned upside down,” Daniels said.
Fletcher joined with Hare Wynn in a class action lawsuit with 64 other families to take on ExxonMobil.
"It gave me a little bit of confidence and comfort but still you know you wonder if it's ever going to end,” Fletcher said.
It did end. Those 64 families have now settled with Exxon Mobil for years of battling the clean-up, health problems and trying to find another place to live.
"We couldn't be happier. That's what you live for as an attorney is to really make a difference in someone's life,” Daniels said.
"I just hope if they ever open it back up that they really, that the government makes them really check it out so no one else has to go through what the people of mayflower had to go through. I don't wish that on anyone,” Fletcher said.
Fletcher says they finally sold their house and moved Lonoke and that his son is much happier.
Exxon Mobil has already paid more than five million dollars in settlements with state and federal agencies.