In court

Last Updated: Saturday 04 July 2015 | 02:50:09 AM

Valdez Victims Spurned: Almost 20 years of legal battle ended in frustration for victims of the 1989 Exxon Valdez spill, as the US supreme court reduced an earlier damages award of $2.5 billion to $507 million. The new figure amounts to just $15,000 for each of the plaintiffs, a group of 33,000 commercial fishermen, cannery workers, native Alaskans and others affected by the disaster, called the worst oil spill in US history. In its decision, the five-to-three majority proclaimed the damages awarded earlier were excessive, setting a precedent for how much juries can punish a company for an employee's actions. The spill was blamed on the failures of individual crew members and Exxon's poor supervision.

Iraq Sues Big Oil: In a US federal court, the Iraqi government filed a civil lawsuit against Chevron and dozens of other companies that paid kickbacks to Saddam Hussein during the UN's oil-for-food programme. These kickbacks, the suit charged, cheated the Iraqi people out of the benefits of the US $67 billion dollar programme, implemented between 1996 and 2003. The suit follows a criminal investigation which led to convictions of individuals and oil companies, including Chevron.

Subscribe to Weekly Newsletter :
We are a voice to you; you have been a support to us. Together we build journalism that is independent, credible and fearless. You can further help us by making a donation. This will mean a lot for our ability to bring you news, perspectives and analysis from the ground so that we can make change together.

Comments are moderated and will be published only after the site moderator’s approval. Please use a genuine email ID and provide your name. Selected comments may also be used in the ‘Letters’ section of the Down To Earth print edition.