Supreme Court agrees to hear Exxon oil spill case

The U.S. Supreme Court on Monday agreed to hear a long-running lawsuit over the Exxon Valdez oil spill of 1989.

Nearly 33,000 Alaska Natives, fishermen, landowners and other plaintiffs sued Exxon Mobil for environmental damage. The 1989 spill polluted 1,200 miles of the Alaskan coastline.

The 9th Circuit Court of Appeals awarded $2.5 billion to the plaintiffs. That was cut down from a $5 billion judgment that Exxon challenged.

Exxon says it has already paid $3.5 billion to clean up the spill. The company says the $2.5 billion is unconstitutional in light of recent Supreme Court rulings on punitive damages but the justices limited the appeal to Clean Water Act and maritime law issues.

Get the Story:
Justices to Examine Punitive Damages In Exxon Oil Spill (The Washington Post 10/30)
Justices to Hear Exxon’s Challenge to Punitive Damages (The New York Times 10/30)
Exxon appeal granted; high court to hear case (The Anchorage Daily News 10/30)

Court Decision:
In re: The Exxon Valdez (May 23, 2007)

$rl Exxon -
Exxon Valdez Oil Spill -

Related Stories:
Court won't reconsider $2.5B Exxon Valdez award (5/24)
Alaska Natives seek $100M for Exxon Valdez oil spill (5/2)
Judge orders Exxon to pay $7B for Valdez spill (1/29)
Exxon wants oil spill award reduced (06/13)
Alaska Natives appeal Exxon ruling (11/30)
Exxon fight has proven costly (11/9)
Native payout for Exxon spill lowered (11/8)
Exxon Valdez health complaints probed (11/6)