Exxon Must Pay $480 Million over Valdez Spill

"Exxon Mobil Corp. must pay victims of the 1989 Exxon Valdez oil spill $480 million more in interest on their delayed punitive damages awards as well as cover $70 million in the company's own appeals costs, a federal appeals court ruled Monday.

The decision by a three-judge panel of the U.S. 9th Circuit Court of Appeals more than doubles the oil giant's costs in settling the lawsuits brought by fishermen, cannery workers, marine services and eco-tourism purveyors whose livelihoods were ruined by the nation's most devastating oil spill.

The court costs stem from Exxon's successful appeal to the U.S. Supreme Court of an Alaska jury's 1996 award of $5 billion in punitive damages for recklessness in the grounding that dumped 11 million gallons of crude oil into the pristine waters of Prince William Sound."

Carol J. Williams reports for the Los Angeles Times June 16, 2009.

Source: LA Times, 06/17/2009