"Exxon To Pay $500 Million in Interest To Spill Victims"

"ANCHORAGE -- Exxon Mobil said Monday it won't appeal nearly $500 million in interest a court recently ordered it to pay to Alaska fishermen, business owners and others harmed by the 1989 Exxon Valdez oil spill.

Exxon said it will pay $470 million in interest on the $507.5 million in punitive damages it has already begun paying out to claimants.

The only sum that remains in dispute in the long-running lawsuit is $70 million in court fees, according to a company spokesman.

'We expect to make payment on the interest in the next few days,' said Alan Jeffers, the Exxon spokesman.

The request for punitive damages was filed by Alaska Natives, fishermen and others who claimed damages to their livelihoods after the Exxon tanker ran aground in Prince William Sound, spilling an estimated 11 million gallons of North Slope crude and sullying 1,200 miles of Alaska coast.

Since the mid-1990s, Exxon has appealed court rulings on punitive damages."

Elizabeth Bluemink reports for McClatchy Newspapers June 30, 2009.

Source: McClatchy, 07/01/2009