NEW YORK (Reuters) – Lawyers for New York state and Exxon Mobil Corp delivered closing arguments in a closely watched trial accusing the oil company of hiding from investors the true cost of addressing climate change.
The case, filed in October 2018 in Manhattan state court, was the first of several climate-related lawsuits against major oil companies to go to trial.
It featured testimony from investors, experts and former Exxon Chief Executive Rex Tillerson, who denied the allegations against the company.
New York’s attorney general alleges that Exxon caused investors to lose up to $1.6 billion by falsely telling them it had properly evaluated the impact of future climate regulations on its business. A verdict is expected within the next 40 days.
Exxon’s lawyer said on Thursday the case was “meritless” and that the state failed to offer testimony from any investor who was misled.
“The case is almost a joke,” Theodore Wells said. “But it’s a cruel joke, your honor, because the reputations of a lot of people have been hurt and disparaged by the bringing of the complaint.”