I know this story itself is far from the HoCo, but certainly not irrelevant. Anyone remember that one billion dollar judgement that was handed down against Exxon Mobil, benefitting many families in the Jacksonville community in Baltimore County? The judgement was for fraud that Exxon committed with respect to disclosing the nature of a leak from an underground gas leak from a service station there.
Well, you can forget about it because it doesn't exist anymore. The Maryland Court of Appeals threw the ruling out, and poof! there goes the money. You can read about it here.
In Oakland Mills, about a half-mile from my current coordinates, there is an empty one-acre lot that is the site of a former Exxon gas station, which had a leak that apparently contaminated the local water system. Unlike in Jacksonville, though, Columbia has public water and sewer service. Anyway, to this day, that lot can't be used for any residential purpose, and the land has to be built upon from "pad level"-- no excavation beyond what's necessary to level out the property.
I really hate when a huge corporation-- in this case, the hugest one in the world-- runs roughshod over a community. This entire thing unfolded as it did, IMHO, because Exxon is a huge corporation. So they have the resources to fight the legal fight as long as it takes, and spend whatever it takes to get things to go their way. And so they did.
The whole thing strikes me as sucking a lot and leaves a pit in my stomach.