Chevron Corp. and its tort-reformer allies on Wednesday withdrew a proposed California ballot initiative that would have blocked plaintiffs from collecting punitive damages in some product liability cases.

John Sullivan, co-sponsor of the Civil Justice Association of California, said he agreed not to submit thousands of signatures collected to qualify the initiative after legislative leaders promised to address lawsuits targeting oil companies like Chevron for polluting groundwater with methyl tert-butyl ether, the fuel additive better known as MTBE.

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