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Fifth Circuit Remands Baytown Penalty for Standing Inquiry August 2, 2020 Eric L. Hiser

In a surprising move, the Fifth Circuit Court of Appeals in Environmental Texas Citizen Lobby, Inc. v. ExxonMobil Corp. remanded back to the district court a $19.95 million civil penalty against ExxonMobile for 16,386 days of various violations at its Baytown facility in Texas.  The Fifth Circuit instructed the district court that it must find that all three constitutional standing requirements (injury in fact, traceable to the defendant’s challenged conduct and redressed by a favorable decision) are met to sustain a penalty for a violation.  One judge concurred in the judgment, arguing that the remand’s instructions for addressing the traceability requirement fell short of constitutional requirements.

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