Attorney’s argue Mobile Gas case before Judge

It’s now up to a judge to decide if Mobile Gas’ general counsel will have to testify in a case involving a chemical spill.

A  group of Eight Mile residents is suing Mobile Gas because they claim it’s responsible for leaking  tert-butyl mercaptan, a chemical added to natural gas lines to help you detect a leak, and they claim the strong smell of the chemical is making them sick.

The plaintiff’s attorney’s want to depose Mobile Gas’ General Counsel Edgar Downing, because they say he ” wears many hats” within the company.

But the gas company says Downing is protected by attorney-client privilege.  Both sides agree, Downing is  the senior vice president, secretary and general counsel of Mobile Gas. But the plaintiff’s attorneys claim Downing was  heavily involved in handling Mobile Gas’ 2008 mercaptan spill and his testimony is crucial to their case.

Judge Michael Youngpeter asked Mobile Gas, Did he not have significant involvement in the incident? Mobile Gas said yes he did but only in a legal capacity as the company’s general counsel.

The gas company claims he was not working on environmental issues related to the 2008 mercaptan spill—and since he is the company’s general counsel what he did, or said during that time is protected by law.

FOX10 News will continue to follow the latest developments in the case.



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