In court

Published: Wednesday 15 July 2009

Exxon pays for oil spill: A US court of appeals ordered Exxon Mobil, the world's largest publicly-traded oil company, to pay US $1 billion to the victims of 50,000 tonnes oil spill in Alaska in 1989. The penalty includes US $507.5 million in punitive damages and US $500 million in interest starting from the original trial judgement in September 1996. The figure is a small fraction of the US $5 billion in damages that a special jury had originally awarded the 33,000 Alaskans affected by the oil spill. That amount was later reduced to US $500 million by US Supreme Court following appeals by Exxon.

The oil spill, the worst in the US history, had damaged 2,100 km of the Alaskan coastline. The company had then spent nearly US $3.4 billion to clean up the oil slick.

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