The Exxon Valdez Decision And Punitive Damages

Law360, New York (July 14, 2008, 12:00 AM EDT) -- The United States Supreme Court has again addressed the issue of punitive damages in a very recent decision, Exxon Shipping Co. et al. v. Baker, Slip Op. 07-219 (June 25, 2008).

This decision concludes a 20-year saga over the appropriate measure of punitive damages for a massive oil spill that occurred off the coast of Alaska and caused economic losses to local residents and communities.

The court decided the case on narrow grounds of whether admiralty law permits punitive damages of the magnitude and the ratio...
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