XOM stock is trading down on Friday following the conclusion of the state of New York’s trial against ExxonMobil Corp (NYSE:XOM) in relation to its role in contributing to the climate crisis.
The trial, which was brought against the oil giant in October of last year, is the first of several climate-related cases against major oil companies. The New York Attorney General Letitia James accuses ExxonMobil of intentionally misleading investors by falsely assuring them that the company had properly evaluated the impact of the future of regulations on its business, resulting in losses of over $1.6 billion USD for investors. XOM stock has dropped 13% since the trial was first brought against the company.
The case featured testimonials from energy experts, investors, and former CEO and Secretary of State Rex Tillerson, who completely denied all allegations. Exxon’s lawyer Theodore Wells began by calling the case “meritless” and said the state failed to offer testimony from any investor who was misled, leading the presiding judge to drop part of the trial.
“The case is almost a joke,” Wells said, “but it’s a cruel joke, your honour, because the reputations of a lot of people have been hurt and disparaged by the bringing of the complaint.” XOM shares are down 2% to $70.69 following Wells’ closing statement.
Last month, just two days after the New York trial began, Massachusetts filed a similar lawsuit accusing Exxon of misleading investors and consumers for decades about the role fossil fuels play in climate change. Exxon, along with several other major oil firms such as British Petroleum and Royal Dutch Shell (OTCPK:RYDBF) are facing similar trials from cities and counties across the US, which are seeking damages to pay for seawalls and other infrastructure to guard against rising sea levels brought on by climate change.
The oil companies have said that they cannot be held liable for climate change.
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