A jury awarded about $150 million to 91 families Thursday who sued Exxon Mobil over wells contaminated by a gasoline leak north of Baltimore.
The jury did not find that Irving, Texas-based Exxon Mobil committed fraud or intentional misconduct and therefore it could not impose punitive damages. The plaintiffs had sought several billion dollars.
An underground storage tank bled about 26,000 gallons of gasoline over 37 days in Jacksonville, a small, affluent community about 20 miles north of Baltimore, before the leak was discovered in February 2006.
After a trial that lasted five months, the jury awarded a majority of the families in the lawsuit about $1 million each for emotional distress. Each family also received the full assessed value of its home and money to cover lifetime medical monitoring.
The lead plaintiffs' attorney Stephen L. Snyder called the verdict a victory.
Exxon attorney Jim Sanders said he was satisfied with the jury's decision, but was uncertain whether the company would appeal.
"It was an accident," Sanders said of the spill.