Tuesday, September 8, 2009

Lawyers try to save big payout after Exxon objects

Last month we told you about a huge payout of money coming in the Exxon Valdez case. This is the interest on the U.S. Supreme Court's punitive damages award.

Since that post, Exxon Mobil Corp. filed an objection that jeopardized the payout happening quickly.

It's complicated, but in a nutshell, Exxon contends that lawyers holding money for the plaintiffs failed to mark down the company for $4.4 million it believes it's owed back under "assignment agreements" with some fish processors.

To get around the problem, lawyers for the plaintiffs have submitted a new plan to the judge for approval. The plan would reserve the disputed sum for Exxon but otherwise go ahead with the massive distribution of interest money.

It means, however, that the figures needed to be slightly rejiggered in terms of what commercial fishermen and other plaintiffs can expect.

Overall, the lawyers now aim to distribute $294.5 million — down from the $299 million originally proposed — covering 17,297 claims in 47 categories.

Here is the new, two-part list reflecting the new proposed payment amounts before deduction of lawyer fees:

Payment list, part 1
Payment list, part 2

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