March 12, 2009

No Punitive Damages in Exxon Gas-Leak Lawsuit

The Baltimore Sun reports that the jury in the Maryland gas-leak lawsuit against Exxon Mobil ruled for the plaintiffs, awarding $150 million in compensatory damages but no punitive damages. The plaintiffs had asked for billions, but they'll have to make do with $150 million. It seems entirely likely that their outlandish request was nothing more than a strategic ploy designed to make a sum like $150 million seem modest by comparison.

The Baltimore Sun story reports that Exxon had already agreed to pay $38 million to clean up the spill, and agreed to pay a $4 million penalty to the state of Maryland, the largest environmental penalty ever paid to the state.