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Court slashes punitives judgment in Exxon Valdez disaster

Yahoo News (among many others) has the details: the Supremes have decided, 5-3 (Alito conficted out, but would have been a 6th vote) that punitive damages should not exceed compensatories, and that Exxon's punitive liability for the Valdez disaster should be reduced from $2.5 billion to $500 million, an 80% reduction. (A jury had decided Exxon should pay $5 billion in punitive damages, but the 9th Circuuit cut that verdict in half in 1994.) Dissenters pointed out (not incorrectly) that the Supreme Court still has no principled way to intervene in state punitives cases....



Rafael Mangual
Project Manager,
Legal Policy

Katherine Lazarski
Manhattan Institute


Published by the Manhattan Institute

The Manhattan Insitute's Center for Legal Policy.