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(AP) -- Maryland's highest court has overturned jury verdicts that ordered Exxon Mobil Corp. to pay more than $1.5 billion in damages as a result of a 2006 gasoline station leak that polluted a community's drinking water.

In two rulings Tuesday the Court of Appeals also ordered new trials in cases related to the spill. In the larger of the two cases involving approximately 150 families and businesses, a jury in 2011 awarded $1 billion in punitive damages and $495 million in compensatory damages after a trial that lasted months.

On Tuesday, the court overturned the punitive damages, saying they could only be awarded if the plaintiffs proved that the Irving, Texas-based company had intended to act wrongfully. The judges didn't find that to be the case.

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