November 12, 2008

District Court Rejects Challenge To Exxon Valdez Payment Plan

The Anchorage Daily News is reporting that Judge H. Russel Holland, the district court judge presiding over the Exxon Valdez case, has rejected a challenge to his previously approved plan for allocating the $507.5 million punitive damages award.

Exxon has paid $383 million of that total (with the rest to be paid after the parties resolve their dispute about the amount of interest Exxon owes), but infighting among the plaintiffs has delayed payment of the $383 million. Judge Holland's ruling clears the way for payments to begin, unless the party who challenged the payment plan decides to appeal. As the history of this case illustrates, an appeal to the 9th Circuit can result in years of delay.