Too little, too late – partial Exxon settlement reached

Anchorage, Alaska ( – News Report) – Those affected by the catastrophic 1989 oil spill in Prince William Sound are finally receiving compensation in 2008. Nearly 33,000 fishermen and their families were hurt by the devastating spill that Exxon Valdez is responsible for. The Anchorage jury in 1994 determined Exxon should pay $5 billion in punitive damages for the nearly 11 million-gallon oil spill. The giant company has agreed to distribute around $383 million to the families, and although this is a certainly a step in the right direction, it is long overdue, with $70 million (including $488 million in interest) to be settled.

Exxon’s spokesman, Tony Cudmore said, “We approached the plaintiffs’ legal representatives with an offer to pay the punitive damages awarded by the Supreme Court on June 25, less certain costs and amounts relating to earlier settlements with former plaintiffs. The amount agreed with the plaintiffs is approximately $383.4 million.” The recompense seems hardly satisfaction when considering the health problems and deaths, and attorney fees, notwithstanding the fact that the $383 million will be divided between the 33,000 plaintiffs. The plaintiffs could see checks as early as October. And although Exxon is complaining about the payments, it is hardly a dent in their wallet.

Justice News Flash – Staff Reporter

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