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Alligator invasion: 80 alligators infest property, Christmas family sues company

Alligator sitting in the murky water
Alligator sitting in the murky water
Courtesy of Wikimedia Commons

An alligator invasion has resulted in Tom and Consandra Christmas suing the ExxonMobil Company this week after 80 alligators infested their property. The unhappy couple was allegedly planning on building a house down in Mississippi, but can no longer do so because a number of alligators “introduced” to the area by ExxonMobil have made construction impossible. The Epoch Times reports this Thursday, Feb. 6, 2014, that the Christmas family has ultimately lost their “use and enjoyment” of their future home because of the wild animals posing a threat to them trying to live there.

The alligator invasion became a real problem in recent years with a vast number of reptiles continually infesting the already purchased property of Tom and Consandra Christmas. Although the Christmases said that they were well aware that some alligators or other reptiles may be present in the southwest Mississippi region where they were hoping to settle down, they had no idea that no less than 80 or so of these animals would soon be using their land as a resting place.

Wayne Dowdy, who is serving as the legal attorney for the Christmas family, has reported to the Mississippi Supreme Court that the unhappy couple has now given up their construction plans to build a new house on the Wilkinson County locale due to the alligator infestation. He added that the couple believes that since ExxonMobil was the company which introduced the wild reptiles to the property next door, they should be held responsible.

According to the press release on this alligator invasion and subsequent lawsuit:

“The Christmases allege the company brought the reptiles in from Louisiana as canaries’ that would warn of hazardous contamination on the neighboring property, which ExxonMobil bought in 2001 after it was operated for years as a disposal site for refinery waste …. Furthermore, since ExxonMobil owns the land next door and was responsible for bringing the alligators to the site, the company should be required to compensate the Christmases, Dowdy asserts in his appeal.”

“They have lost the use and enjoyment of their property,” he added.

For its part, ExxonMobil is saying that they have not introduced the Louisiana alligators to the neighboring site. Company attorney Jeff Reynolds has also argued that the family should have first brought up their alligator invasion issues when they initially bought the 35 acres of land a full 11 years ago, back in 2003.

“They are not saying the alligators are making loud noises or smell bad. They say the alligators are coming on their property,” Reynolds noted.

However, Dowdy has contended the couple only became aware of the 80 or so reptiles “infesting” the land after moving into a mobile home on the property a number of years afterwards. The case is ongoing this week.

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