Tuesday, July 15, 2008
Doesn't your heart just go out to them in their dire situation?
They're still at it, you know.
Per McClatchy this afternoon:
ExxonMobil balks at paying interest on oil-spill damages
Erika Bolstad | McClatchy Newspapers - July 15, 2008
WASHINGTON — ExxonMobil has balked at paying $488 million in interest on punitive damages that plaintiffs say it owes for its role in the 1989 Prince William Sound oil spill in Alaska, saying "there is no good reason" for the Supreme Court to assess interest.
Last week, the people who are owed money from the Exxon Valdez lawsuit asked the Supreme Court to make it clear that they should receive interest, even though the court cut the punitive damages award in June from $2.5 billion to $507 million.
On Tuesday, the oil giant disagreed. In its filing, the company says that "the court has held that $507.5 million is the legally correct amount necessary to deter Exxon and others from future oil spills," and not millions more in interest.
Also, the company adds that there's no reason to penalize it by awarding another $488 million when "the substantial delay here was not in any sense Exxon's fault," but was that of the plaintiffs, who disagreed with a lower court decision.
Lawyers for the fishermen and other plaintiffs in the case had calculated that interest would add up to about $488 million, bringing the total amount owed by Exxon from the spill to nearly $1 billion. After attorney fees, an estimated $628 million would be divided among more than 32,000 plaintiffs.
Lawyers for the plaintiffs think that they're entitled to interest, but after so many years of wrangling with Exxon, they filed a brief with the Supreme Court to clarify their position, said Brian O'Neill, a Minnesota lawyer who represents the plaintiffs. Last week, he described the brief they filed with the Supreme Court as "belt and suspenders."
They clearly were worried, and wrote in their brief that "if past is prologue, there is real risk that Exxon would exploit any lack of clarity concerning interest to prolong this litigation still further."
It just breaks your heart, doesn't it?
Perhaps a benefit is in order to help them raise $$$ for the cause?
What shall we call it?
I've got it!
"Huge Corporate Profit$ v$. Dead Duck$ Aid"?
Has a nice ring to it, don't you think ? ? ? ?
(Cross-posted from Moved to Vancouver)