Every Bird Matters
news and views from international bird rescue

February 25, 2008

High court hears Exxon Valdez oil spill suit

Nearly 14 years after Exxon was ordered to pay $5 billion dollars because of the damages done to people and their livelyhood during the Exxon Valdez oil spill, the nation’s top court is scheduled to hear the final appeal this week.

The U.S. Supreme Court will listen to arguments this coming Wednesday from the 1994 judgment that awarded residents and fishermen the huge award. The award has been reviewed three times by a district judge and twice by the U.S. Court of Appeals for the 9th Circuit, based in San Francisco. In December 2006, the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals issued its final ruling, setting the punitive damages award at $2.5 billion.

In the meantime, 20% of the more than 30,000 fishermen, Native Alaskans, cannery workers and others who triumphed in the Anchorage, Alaska court that day in 1994 are now dead.

Following the 1989 oil spill, more than 11 million gallons spilled. An estimated 300 bald eagles died and another 200,000 common murres perished. Scores of other whales, otters, salmon and invertebrates also died in the aftermath of the spill that hit Prince William Sound and the surrounding areas.

Members of IBRRC’s response team spent nearly six months in Alaska helping care for oiled birds in the spill. See IBRRC report

Read more on the MSNBC website

Also read, plantiff’s law firm discussion of the case

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