Monday, June 15, 2009

Court rules Exxon owes interest in spill case

Here's an opinion today from the 9th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals holding that Exxon Mobil Corp. owes interest on the $507.5 million judgment the Supreme Court ordered last year in the Exxon Valdez oil spill case.

This will push total punitive damages to roughly $1 billion.

But fishermen and other plaintiffs had best not hold their breath just yet for a share of the interest money.

Frank Mullen, a Homer commercial fisherman and close follower of the case, explains why:

"There are a number of moves available to Exxon to drag the issue out further:

• Exxon could once again ask for an 'en banc' hearing

• Exxon could appeal to the Supreme Court."

Mullen continues:

"I would not expect any payments associated with interest any time soon ... perhaps 2010?"

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