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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
New article on the court battle

"When the U.S. Supreme Court was deciding to hear arguments in the Exxon Valdez oil spill case, Exxon marshaled more than a dozen high-profile organizations to file briefs urging the high court to take up the case.

Now the plaintiffs have their own powerhouse.

On Thursday, the legislative council decided to spend up to $25,000 preparing an amicus curiae brief on behalf of the Alaska State Legislature."

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First off, its ridiculous that this case is still dragging on. With all the massive profits being made by Exxon (and the rest of big oil, as well), its amazing that they have fought this hard and this long to keep from paying punitive damages. I mean, how many fishermen and others did they put out of business?

My guess is that if you were to add up all the lost profit from those lost fisheries, along with all other lost money, over all the years since the spill, that this payment they are fighting so hard is modest.

Second, its good to see the plaintiffs (fishermen, natives, etc) getting more organized. Cant be easy going to court (Supreme court at that) trying to fight such a massive oil company.

I am sure too if you add up the money Exxon has spent on lawyers and other legal fees over the years fighting this, that it is a massive sum. I guess they would rather spend the money there than giving in. (They don't want to set a precedent that says that if oil companies mess up that they have to be held fully accountable.)

I hope the Supreme Court makes them pay every single cent of that punitive penalty.
 

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Hey 2fin- forward that article to CCA national HQ's demanding a response, tell them you know they are funded by Exxon and ask them how they feel running around preaching conservation, while they are being funded by the company responsible for our greatest man made environmental disaster.....then see if they respond;)
 

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twofinbluna wrote:
[My guess is that if you were to add up all the lost profit from those lost fisheries, along with all other lost money, over all the years since the spill, that this payment they are fighting so hard is modest.

Chris, they are fighting about PUNITIVE damages, i.e. damages over and above all of the lost profits, costs of clean-up, etc. IOW, the plantiffs are looking to make a profit on the disaster.
 

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Mike -

I think punitive damages are more to punish the defendant than to reward the plaintiff. But regardless, it's hard to imagine how the past 15 years of post-spill propagandizing about how irresponsible fishermen are won't have an effect on the amount of the settlement. Sort of a variation of the clean hands doctrine.

And the decision will impact all future litigation, if there's ever another oil spill (yea, what are the chances?). Pretty good investment for Big Oil.
 

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loligo wrote:
MakoMike wrote:
IOW, the plantiffs are looking to make a profit on the disaster.


Mike?


Pretty simple, they are looking to recover more money from Exxon than they lost by the oil spill. That's part of the definition of Punative damages, i.e. damages over and above the amount of the actual damages.
 

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Discussion Starter · #8 ·
loligo wrote:
MakoMike wrote:
IOW, the plantiffs are looking to make a profit on the disaster.


Mike?


Thats what I was going to ask....they are not looking for profit, they are looking for damages that they lost from the spill, arent they Mike?
 

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Chris -

Two kinds of damages can be awarded, compensatory and punitive. Compensatory damages are to pay the defendant for his/her losses (past, present and future). Punitive are to punish the defendant, if his actions causing the damages was intentional or willful or intentional. The compensatory damages part of the suit was settled years ago, the punitive award is what's in the (long) process of being appealed.
 

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Do you guys really think that Exxon acted with willful disregard to public safety? Do you really think that they need to be "punished" by punative damages to prevent a simialr event from occurring again?

IMHO the plantiffs are being greedy and simply trying to make a profit off the disaster, and I don't think punative damages will rpevent anything from happening in the future. If punative damages are warranted then award them to the NMFS and the Alaskan Dept of fish & Game.
 

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Discussion Starter · #13 ·
Yes, Mike, I do. Who was it that hired such a crappy captain to run such a big, oil-filled boat through a tight navigation route? Exxon did.

And also, I think it will help ensure that these companies do more to prevent these types of accidents if they get nailed with a massive punitive fine. Who that fine goes to is beyond the point, although I think that those most affected should likley get some of that money, dont you?



This post edited by twofinbluna 04:50 PM 01/09/2008
 

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twofinbluna wrote:
Yes, Mike, I do. Who was it that hired such a crappy captain to run such a big, oil-filled boat through a tight navigation route? Exxon did.

And also, I think it will help ensure that these companies do more to prevent these types of accidents if they get nailed with a massive punitive fine. Who that fine goes to is beyond the point, although I think that those most affected should likley get some of that money, dont you?


Well, not to put too fine a point on it, but it was the coast guard that certified the captain, was it not? How is anyone to judge who is the "better Captain" after the coast guard has doen its thing?

No I don't think that those "most affected" should get any of the punative fines. They have already been compensated for their losses, why should they make a profit on the disaster? I would much prefer, if there is to be punative fines at all, that they go to the bodies that actuall work to conserve and benefit the resource.
 

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Discussion Starter · #15 ·
While, yes, the CG had some involvement in certification, I believe that it is the employer of the captain, not the CG, who is ultimately responsible. They hired a bad captain, not the CG. If this was a CG boat that somehow was involved, that would be one thing, but it isn't. Its an Exxon boat full of Exxon oil with an Exxon-employed captain at the helm.

That said, I can see your point about who should get the money, if there is any. I am unsure how I feel about that, but I get your point. I would have to think that one out more before deciding.
 

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twofinbluna wrote:
Who was it that hired such a crappy captain to run such a big, oil-filled boat through a tight navigation route?

The channel is ten miles wide.

He's even crappier than you thought. lol
 

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he wasn't at the helm...he left a moron there instead......

twofinbluna wrote:
with an Exxon-employed captain at the helm.

Read the article right after your first post;

"Helmsman Kagan, when ordered to make the turn, did not execute it fully. Kagan earned the nickname Rain Man during the criminal trial for mixing up his right and left and for muttering to himself during cross-examination, "Why is he asking me that? I wish he wouldn't ask me that." Employment records showed that Kagan required "constant supervision.""
 
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