Signaling A Move Towards Closure
ANCHORAGE, Alaska– LAWFUEL – Legal News, Legal Jobs–David W. Oesting (http://www.dwt.com/lawdir/attorneys/OestingDavid.cfm), lead counsel for the Plaintiffs in the Exxon Valdez oil spill litigation, with the law firm of Davis Wright Tremaine LLP, confirmed today that the 9th circuit federal appeals court cut in half a $5 billion jury award for punitive damages against Exxon Mobil Corp.
The order stems from the civil lawsuit following the 1989 grounding of the Exxon Valdez and was entered in federal district court in Anchorage, Alaska this morning.
“While we are disappointed that the amount was reduced, we are delighted that we are moving towards closure with respect to this litigation,” said Oesting.
Oesting provided the following background: The Exxon Valdez ran aground on Good Friday, March 23, 1989, spilling 11 million gallons of oil, the largest oil spill in American history. The spill coincided with the beginning of fishing season. Hundreds of lawsuits followed and were consolidated in front of Judge Holland. The cases were tried in 1994, and an Anchorage jury awarded $5 billion in punitive damages against ExxonMobil on September 16, 1994. After initially contesting the award in front of Judge Holland, it has since been appealed three times.