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Exxon’s Supreme bid to cut interest payments runs aground

The Exxon Valdez ran aground in 1989

The Exxon Valdez ran aground in 1989

Just weeks after slashing the punitive damages award granted to fisherman injured by the massive oil spill from the Exxon Valdez, the U. S. Supreme Court has declined to consider how much the oil company must pay in interest on the punitive damages award.

Yesterday the U.S. Supreme Court issued an order saying that matter should be decided by the 9th Circuit Court of Appeals.

Exxon had asked to Court to decide whether the interest on the damages award, which was cut from $2.5 billion to about $500 million by the Court, should be calculated from the date of the 1994 jury verdict in the case, or from the date of the Court’s June 25, 2008 ruling in Exxon Shipping Co. v. Baker.

Exxon said that it would pursue the matter with the 9th circuit. Interest calculated since 1994 would add an estimated $488 million, boosting awards to individuals from roughly $15,000 to about $29,400.

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