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Mexican oil firm off limits in suits over big '79 spill

A federal judge ruled the Mexican national oil company, Pemex, cannot be sued in US courts for damages from the world's worst oil spill in 1979 because Pemex is nationally owned and out of the jurisdiction of federal courts.

But the judge ruled lawsuits can be brought against the private Mexican oil-drilling firm, Permargo, which was operating the Ixtoc I well when it blew out and began spewing 100 million gallons of crude oil into the Gulf of Mexico. The oil spill began June 3, 1979, and was not capped until the following March 22

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