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Alligator invasion costs couple home: Gators used as 'canaries' claims lawsuit

Alligator invasion costs couple their dream home, now they want compensation.
Alligator invasion costs couple their dream home, now they want compensation.
Photo by Sam Greenwood/Getty Images

An alligator invasion has cost a couple their dream home and they blame ExxonMobile for this. The couple's alligator invasion is coming from the property next to their land, which is owned by the oil giant and was used for years as a disposal site for refinery waste.

According to Epoch Times on Feb. 5, a lawsuit claims that ExxonMobile populated the land with alligators as "canaries." Miners would bring the birds into the mines and if they died they knew there was lethal gas in the mine. They used the canaries as a warning system.

The oil giant is allegedly doing pretty much the same with alligators. The giant reptiles were trucked in by ExxonMobile and they are used as a warning system. If they start to die off, something is wrong.

Well they didn't die off, they multiplied and now Tom and Consandra Christmas can't stay on the land they purchased because it is not safe. The Christmas's knew when they purchased the land that they would occasionally see an alligator because they are living in Louisiana swamp land, but not 80 of the vicious creatures.

The couple is suing ExxonMobile because they cannot build their dream home on the property as it is overrun by alligators, the same alligators the company planted on their land to monitor toxicity. The couple originally lived on the property in a mobile home with plans to build their permanent home, but they couldn't stay there.

The couple has a lawyer and they are looking for the oil giant to compensate them for the land they cannot build on. Their attorney, Wayne Dowdy believes that the couple should be reimbursed for the land because "They have lost the use and enjoyment of their property."

The oil giant denies bringing the alligators to the property. The company's lawyer said that the couple purchased the land in 2003 and the statute of limitations has run out. Why are they bringing this suit to the courts now? The couple only learned about the alligator population once they moved there in 2007 and this lawsuit was filed before the three year statute of limitation has run out, claims Dowdy.

The couple had this case thrown out of court by a judge in 2011. The ExxonMobile company cannot do anything about the alligators which fall under all kinds of regulations from the state. The wildlife department for the state came out to the ExxonMobile property and removed several female breeding alligators at the request of the company. This didn't satisfy the Christmas couple so they sued.

Their lawyer wants a jury to decide if the alligators have caused a nuisance for the couple, so the case is on-going.