ExxonMobil Corp. has been ordered to pay $507.5 million in punitive damages to Alaska natives, fishermen, business owners and others harmed by the massive 1989 oil spill off Alaska. The ruling by the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit in San Francisco on June 15th affirms the amount set by the U.S. Supreme Court last year. It also awards interest payments at 5.9% to Plaintiffs from the date of the original judgment in 1996. The Plaintiffs originally were awarded $5 billion, but that amount was cut in subsequent appeals by Exxon. Exxon was responsible for the worst oil spill in the nation’s history when the tanker Exxon Valdez ran aground March 24, 1989, spewing 11 million gallons of crude into Prince William Sound. It now appears that Exxon – after some 20 years – will finally have to pay the victims. Even so, the giant oil company has to believe that it really won this battle.
Source: Associated Press
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