News Releases

Hood County District Court Grants Summary Judgment for XTO Energy in Neighborhood Exposure Case

On May 29, 2024, a Hood County District Court judge entered a final judgment in favor of XTO Energy, Inc. (“XTO”), a subsidiary of Exxon Mobil Corporation, in a neighborhood exposure case. Beginning in 2017, 49 plaintiffs filed 19 separate lawsuits against XTO and related parties. The plaintiffs alleged that emissions from XTO’s natural gas production activities caused them personal injuries and property damage in the Quail Ridge Community outside of Fort Worth, Texas in Hood County. Plaintiffs asserted causes of action for assault, intentional infliction of emotional distress, negligence, gross negligence, negligence per se, private nuisance, trespass, subsurface trespass to real property, and strict liability, stemming largely from allegations of BTEX exposure. 

Through the course of litigation, the number of plaintiffs decreased: 13 of the 19 cases and 38 of the 49 plaintiffs were dismissed or nonsuited by early 2024. In April 2024, the Hood County District Court consolidated the remaining six cases encompassing 14 plaintiffs and set them for trial beginning June 3, 2024.

In advance of trial, XTO moved through counsel for summary judgment on no-evidence and statute of limitations grounds regarding the remaining plaintiffs’ claims.  After a series of hearings and additional pre-trial briefing on the dispositive legal points, the trial court (i) granted XTO’s no-evidence summary judgment on all claims other than negligent nuisance and trespass; (ii) granted XTO’s traditional motion for summary judgment regarding the statute of limitations as to all adults; and (iii) determined that plaintiffs ultimately failed to assert a viable cause of action for trespass. After the trial court’s rulings, the remaining four minor plaintiffs voluntarily dismissed their remaining claims. As such, the trial court entered a final judgment in favor of XTO.

XTO was represented by Baker Botts and Harris, Finley & Bogle.

The Baker Botts trial team:  Russell Lewis (Partner), Laura Shoemaker McGonagill (Senior Associate), and Lexie Ammons (Associate), all from the Houston office.

The Harris, Finley & Bogle trial team:  Andrew (Andy) Sims (Partner), Michael Reer (Partner), and Desireé Malone (Associate), all from the Fort Worth office.


Baker Botts is an international law firm whose lawyers practice throughout a network of offices around the globe. Based on our experience and knowledge of our clients' industries, we are recognized as a leading firm in the energy, technology and life sciences sectors. Since 1840, we have provided creative and effective legal solutions for our clients while demonstrating an unrelenting commitment to excellence. For more information, please visit



Related Professionals