Exxon ordered to pay $507.5 million for 1989 Alaska spill

June 15, 2009 5:46:38 PM PDT
Exxon Mobil Corp. has been ordered to pay $507.5 million in punitive damages to Alaska natives, fishermen, business owners and others harmed by the massive 1989 oil spill off Alaska. The ruling by 9th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals in San Francisco on Monday affirms the figure set by the U.S. Supreme Court last year. It also awards interest payments at 5.9 percent to plaintiffs from the date of the original judgment in 1996.

Plaintiffs originally were awarded $5 billion, but that amount was cut in subsequent appeals by Irving, Texas-based Exxon.

The tanker Exxon Valdez ran aground March 24, 1989, spewing 11 million gallons of crude into Prince William Sound. The incident remains the worst oil spill in the nation's history.

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