Description: Summary action seeking judgment requiring ExxonMobil Corporation to allow plaintiff to inspect the company's books and records.
City of Birmingham Relief & Retirement System v. ExxonMobil Corp.
Filing Date Type File Action Taken Summary 05/06/2019 Opinion Download Denial affirmed. New Jersey Appellate Court Affirmed Denial of Application to Inspect Exxon Records. An intermediate appellate court in New Jersey affirmed a trial court’s denial of the City of Birmingham Relief and Retirement System’s application to inspect ExxonMobil Corporation’s (Exxon’s) books and records. The plaintiff—a beneficial owner of Exxon stock—alleged that Exxon had for decades funded groups that discredited the scientific community’s opinions about climate change even though Exxon’s scientists shared the view that “that human-influenced global climate change was real and required a dramatic reduction in the dependence of [sic] fossil fuels.” Citing newspaper and research articles and state and federal investigations, the plaintiff sought to investigate evidence that Exxon violated New Jersey and federal law by funding these groups and by misleading investors. The appellate court found, however, that even if these motivations served as a proper purpose for inspection of company records, the plaintiffs’ evidence was “all grounded in hearsay” and insufficient to demonstrate that its allegations were credible.