Anchorage Daily News:
WASHINGTON -- The U.S. Supreme Court dashed the hopes of more than 32,000 fishermen and Alaska natives who have been waiting for nearly 20 years to hear whether Exxon Mobil Corp. will have to pay out billions in punitive damages for its role in the 1989 Exxon Valdez oil spill.
In a victory for big businesses seeking to limit big-dollar lawsuits, the court decided this morning to reduce the $2.5 billion punitive damages. The award was excessive, the justices wrote, and reduced the damages to $507.5 million. The original multibillion punitive damages had been awarded as punishment for the company's role in spilling 11 million gallons of oil in the pristine fishing waters of Alaska's Prince William Sound.
"The punitive damages award against Exxon was excessive as a matter of maritime common law," wrote Justice David Souter in the majority opinion. "In the circumstances of this case, the award should be limited to an amount equal to compensatory damages."
The court was divided five to three.
After the lawyers take their cut, this total judgement will be LESS than the RETIREMENT PACKAGE they gave to Lee Raymond in 2006. You remember Lee Raymond, the man in charge when the Exxon Valdez hit Bligh Reef?
Exxon is giving Lee Raymond one of the most generous retirement packages in history, nearly $400 million, including pension, stock options and other perks, such as a $1 million consulting deal, two years of home security, personal security, a car and driver, and use of a corporate jet for professional purposes.
To add insult to injury...the Alaska Permanent Fund's #2 stock is Exxon:
Company: EXXON MOBIL CORP
I recommend that everyone track the comments on the Daily News article today--there are well over 115 comments right now and climbing.
America ... not just Alaska... Wake up!
I felt angry, and disappointed, and for a moment denial. Now I feel a little bit fearful. The Supreme Court, chose precedent to make their decision? I think they set a new one, the message to large corporations? Don't WORRY about environmental concerns of any kind you won't be held responsible. Bad news America. You can expect nothing less from the current government than to sell your health, communities, culture, constitutional rights, to the corporate interest. Corporations feel no pain, because they aren't human, they simply exist to make a profit. They are now held in higher regard than the people of this country, and the highest court said so. Continue to stand by and let politicians, sell us away, and here we are. If we do vote Obama in, lets not just stand back and wait...we must become a nation again, and start caring for our people... all our people, all our precious cultures, become leaders in our communities. Its ugly folks... this is it, we must change.
Why does the UFA support these people?
The United Fishermen of Alaska have been pimping for the republicans for years and this is what they get back in return. Maybe they will learn that the “Republican establishment” that Ted Stevens, Lisa Murkowski, have been supporting on the US Supreme Court, comes with a price tag.
The Republican right wing Supreme Court doesn’t care about the impacts on real living people as much as they do on the establishment.
If this doesn't turn Alaska Blue, nothing will.