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Supreme Court May Limit Damages in Exxon Valdez Case

Publication Date: 
February 28, 2008
Source: 
Daily Journal
Author: 
Brent Kendall

Professor Jeffrey L. Fisher, attorney for the plaintiffs in the Exxon Valdez case n front of the Supreme Court, is referenced in The Daily Journal:

Justice Kennedy ... suggesting to Stanford University law professor Jeffrey L. Fisher, the lawyer for the plaintiffs, that Exxon should not be held liable for punitive damages because it had adopted a clear company policy that barred drinking on the ship.

Chief Justice John G. Roberts Jr., a vocal supporter for Exxon during much of the session, picked up on the same theme.

"What more can the corporation do other than say, Here is our policy?" Roberts asked.

Enforce it, Fisher said in response.

"There was no serious alcohol policy that was enforced," Fisher said. "Up and down the corporation ... for three years, upper management was receiving reports that this man was drinking aboard the vessel."

...

Defending the current $2.5 billion award, Fisher said the punitive penalty was well within the guidelines previously announced by the Supreme Court and was "proportionate to the harm that was shown in this case."