By Karen Savage
Exxon Mobil says a securities fraud suit against it should be dismissed because it includes claims that the New York Attorney General’s office failed to prove in a separate climate fraud lawsuit against the oil giant.
Exxon is facing the lawsuit Ramirez v. Exxon in the U.S. District Court for the Northern District of Texas, accusing the company of lying to investors about the risks posed to the company by climate change. Exxon asked Judge Ed Kinkeade to reconsider his rejection of its motion to dismiss. That motion, filed in 2018, also alleged that the suit,, a class action suit filed in 2016, mimicked accusations made by the New York Attorney General’s office.
Shortly after the motion was denied, Exxon tried to persuade Kinkeade to reconsider the denial, arguing that he had erred in his decision. Kinkeade was not convinced. He also brushed aside a request by Exxon that would have allowed his decision to be immediately appealed.
In its latest attempt to shake the case, Exxon contends that Kinkeade initially allowed the case to continue because he, along with the plaintiffs, relied on the New York AG’s allegations to have been made “in good faith and with evidentiary support.”
Exxon points out that since then, New York Supreme Court Judge Barry Ostrager has ruled that the NY AG’s office failed to prove that the company deceived investors.
“Now that Justice Ostrager has held that NYAG’s allegations of misconduct are meritless, plaintiff can no longer plausibly assert that those same discredited allegations support its securities claims,” attorneys for Exxon wrote in the motion.
Exxon has also argued that the investors should be denied class certification. Rulings in both motions are expected in the coming weeks.