Mississippi alligator infestation suit before high court

JACKSON, Miss. (AP) - The Mississippi Supreme Court has agreed to referee a dispute between a Wilkinson County couple and ExxonMobil Corporation over an alleged alligator infestation.

Tom Christmas and his wife argue they didn't discover the 84-plus alligators on land next to their homestead until four years after they bought the property in southwest Mississippi.

ExxonMobil counters that the Christmases' real estate agent told them about the alligators as far back as 2003. ExxonMobil says the couple waited too long to file a lawsuit claiming the alligators robbed them of enjoyment of their land, and the statute of limitations has passed.

The state Court of Appeals in May returned the case to Wilkinson County Circuit Court. ExxonMobil appealed. The Supreme Court agreed 5-4 Thursday to hear the case.

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