A judgment of the U.S. Supreme Court dated 25th June cut the punitive damages award from the Valdez spill and placed stiff limits on such awards based on U.S. maritime law. The court ruled, inter alia, that a 1:1 ratio of punitive to compensatory damages is the fair upper limit, under maritime law, where there was no intentional or malicious conduct or any motive or desire for gain on the Defendant's part. Thus, the $2.5 billion punitive award imposed against Exxon Shipping for the spill was reduced to equal the $507 million compensatory damages awarded for the private Plaintiffs' economic losses from the spill.
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- Reed Smith LLP
- Sally-Ann Underhill
- June 30 2008
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