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Thread: Exxon off the hook for $2 billion in punitives

  1. #1
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    Exxon off the hook for $2 billion in punitives

    My first question is, when did the Supremecist Court get into the financial penalty assessment business? I thought they only ruled on on the Constitutionality of arguments.

    Ah well... Another corporation going to the ends of the earth to cut down their fine so as to make it cost effective to keep being their unethical selves.

    [B][SIZE="4"]Top US court slashes Exxon Valdez oil damages[/SIZE][/B]

    [INDENT][COLOR="DarkGreen"]3 hours ago

    WASHINGTON (AFP) — The US Supreme Court Wednesday rejected as excessive 2.5 billion dollars in punitive damages awarded to victims of the Exxon Valdez oil disaster and said it should be cut to 507 million dollars.

    The long-running legal battle stretches back to March 24, 1989 when the Exxon Valdez crashed into a reef in Prince William Sound, Alaska, spilling 11 million gallons of crude into the seas in the country's worst oil disaster.

    ...

    In an opinion penned by Justice David Souter, the Supreme Court said Exxon Mobil should not have to pay out punitive damages exceeding the compensatory damages awarded against it.

    In 1994 a jury in a civil Alaskan lawsuit ordered the Texas-based firm to pay five billion dollars in punitive damages to some 34,000 fishermen and others who worked in the Prince William Sound.

    That sum was cut to four billion in December 2002, and then increased to 4.5 billion in January 2004 in various appellate rulings.

    Then in December, the US Court of Appeal cut the punitive damages to 2.5 billion saying the amount was more in line with legal precedent.

    Wednesday's ruling rejected the federal appeals court damages and transferred the case to the lower court "to remit the punitive damages award accordingly."

    ([URL="http://afp.google.com/article/ALeqM5jSJlMcSWuKWGUGc9odGpuNXDQCcg"]continued[/URL])[/COLOR][/INDENT]

  2. #2
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    another lame thread

  3. #3
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    really? why? what's the specific problem with it?

  4. #4
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    [quote=Press_Coverage;2601065]My first question is, when did the Supremecist Court get into the financial penalty assessment business? I thought they only ruled on on the Constitutionality of arguments.[/quote]


    And the answer is: several years ago. [URL]http://www.supremecourtus.gov/opinions/02pdf/01-1289.pdf[/URL]

    They ruled that imposing punitive damages that bear no rational relationship to the actual damages violates the 14th Amendment by depriving people/companies of property without due process of law.

    You'll be happy to know that your apparent belief that this is an incorrect reading/application of the due process clause was shared by the two men who are no doubt your favorite justices - Thomas and Scalia, who cast two of the 3 dissenting votes

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    [QUOTE=doggin94it;2601147]And the answer is: several years ago. [URL]http://www.supremecourtus.gov/opinions/02pdf/01-1289.pdf[/URL]

    They ruled that imposing punitive damages that bear no rational relationship to the actual damages violates the 14th Amendment by depriving people/companies of property without due process of law.

    You'll be happy to know that your apparent belief that this is an incorrect reading/application of the due process clause was shared by the two men who are no doubt your favorite justices - Thomas and Scalia, who cast two of the 3 dissenting votes[/QUOTE]

    I am happy to know that... But a 4 or 5:1 punitive to compensatory ratio, as was the case here, is not excessive...

    [INDENT](2) With regard to the second Gore guidepost, the Court has been reluctant to identify concrete constitutional limits on the ratio be-tween harm, or potential harm, to the plaintiff and the punitive damages award; but, in practice, few awards exceeding a single-digit ratio between punitive and compensatory damages will satisfy due process.[/INDENT]

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