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Exxon Corp. v. Pluff – Case Brief Summary (Texas)

In Exxon Corp. v. Pluff, 94 S.W.3d 22 (Tex. App.--Tyler 2002, pet. denied), a landowner sued Exxon based on the oil company's failure to remove all of the oilfield materials used in drilling and operation of oil wells on his property.

Pluff testified that his claim against Exxon was based on its failure to remove all of the oilfield materials that were used in the drilling and operation of the oil wells on the property and that all of those materials were on the property before he bought it. Id. at 26.

He also testified that Exxon had not conducted any operations on the property since he purchased it and that no oil spills occurred after the date he purchased the property. Id.

The Tyler Court of Appeals concluded Pluff had no cause of action, and therefore lacked standing, because he showed no injury occurred during his ownership of the land. Id. at 28.

The court concluded the undisputed evidence "showed a continuing condition that already existed on the date of purchase," and "without a new injury that occurred after Pluff purchased the property or an assignment of a cause of action for the prior injury, Pluff had not been aggrieved and therefore had no standing." Id.