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Superior Court of Massachusetts, At Suffolk, Business Litigation Session
June 22, 2021, Decided
Opinion No.: 146628, Docket Number: 1984CV03333-BLS1
MEMORANDUM OF DECISION AND ORDER ON DEFENDANT'S MOTION TO DISMISS AMENDED COMPLAINT
The Commonwealth of Massachusetts, by its Attorney General, brings this action against Exxon Mobil Corporation ("Exxon") for violations of G.L.c. 93A. The Commonwealth claims that Exxon has "systematically and intentionally . . . misled Massachusetts investors and consumers about climate change"; more specifically, that Exxon "has been dishonest with investors about the material climate-driven risks to its business and with consumers about how its fossil fuel products cause climate change . . ." Amended Complaint, ¶1.
The Commonwealth filed its original complaint, alleging four violations of c. 93A, in this court on October 24, 2019. On November 29, 2019, Exxon removed the case to the United States District Court for the District of Massachusetts. The Commonwealth moved to remand on December 26, 2019, and on March 17, 2020, the District Court remanded the case to this court. On June 5, 2020, the Commonwealth filed an Amended Complaint, alleging three violations of c. 93A. Specifically, the Commonwealth claims that Exxon has: (1) misrepresented [*2] and failed to disclose material facts regarding systemic climate change risks to Massachusetts investors (Count I); (2) deceived Massachusetts consumers by misrepresenting the purported environmental benefit of using its Synergy™ and Mobil 1™ products and failed to disclose the risks of climate change caused by its fossil fuel product (Count II); and (3) deceived Massachusetts consumers by promoting false and misleading "greenwashing" campaigns (Count III).1 The Commonwealth requests injunctive relief, $5,000 for each violation of c. 93A, and an award of costs and attorneys fees.
The matter is now before me on Exxon's Motion to Dismiss for lack of personal jurisdiction and for failure to state a claim upon which relief can be granted, pursuant to Mass.R.Civ.P. 12(b)(2) and 12(b)(6), respectively. For the reasons that follow, Exxon's motion is DENIED.
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2021 Mass. Super. LEXIS 371 *; 2021 WL 3488414
Commonwealth v. Exxon Mobil Corporation
Subsequent History: Motion denied by Commonwealth v. Exxon Mobil Corp., 2021 Mass. Super. LEXIS 377 (Mass. Super. Ct., June 22, 2021)
consumers, climate, investors, products, deceptive, risks, fossil fuel, alleges, advertising, personal jurisdiction, misleading, fuels, fail to disclose, emissions, environmental, greenhouse, misled, practices, deceived, disclose, omission, global, proxy, commerce, contends, energy, motion to dismiss, forum state, misrepresentations, representations
Civil Procedure, Jurisdiction, In Rem & Personal Jurisdiction, In Personam Actions, Responses, Defenses, Demurrers & Objections, Motions to Dismiss, In Personam Actions, Long Arm Jurisdiction, Constitutional Law, Fundamental Rights, Procedural Due Process, Scope of Protection, Antitrust & Trade Law, Consumer Protection, Deceptive & Unfair Trade Practices, State Regulation, Evidence, Burdens of Proof, Preponderance of Evidence, Computer & Internet Law, In Personam Jurisdiction, Governments, Legislation, Interpretation, Due Process, False Advertising, Placement of Product in Commerce, Inferences & Presumptions, Inferences, Pleadings, Complaints, Requirements for Complaint, Securities Law, Elements of Proof, Materiality, Puffery, Freedom of Speech, Commercial Speech, Misleading Speech, Fundamental Freedoms, Scope