US Supreme Court declined to consider interest owed on Exxon oil spill damages

On August 12, 2008, the US Supreme Court declined to consider whether Exxon Mobil owed interest on a punitive damages award entered against it for the 1989 Exxon Valdez oil spill. In June 2008, the Court had failed to rule on the issue of interest when it reduced punitive damages to $500 million, an omission that prompted Exxon to request clarification. In April 2003, the Court ruled that punitive damages must be reasonable and proportionate to the harm incurred in State Farm v. Campbell. The Valdez oil spill is the second largest oil spill in US waters, during which 11 million gallons of crude oil spilled in Prince William Sound, Alaska.

Learn more about the legal issues surrounding oil spills from the JURIST news archive.


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