Tuesday, June 27, 2006
A bipartisan group of two dozen senators have asked Exxon to expedite paying or negotiating a settlement of the $4.5 billion punitive damage award arising from the 1989 oil spill from the Valdez ship.
"Unfortunately your corporation has chosen a legal strategy of delay and appeal," the senators wrote. "Your lawyers have filed hundreds of motions and over a dozen appeals, while the fishermen and impacted communities continue to suffer from the aftermath of the tragedy."
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An Exxon spokesman said the company isn't stalling, just pursuing the case in court as allowed by law.
Dave Gardner, Exxon's media relations adviser, said the company has already paid $3.5 billion in clean-up costs, compensation to spill victims and settlements.
"We believe that all damages have been paid. ... The ongoing case is about whether further punishment is warranted, not whether any plaintiff is entitled to money for losses that were incurred," he said in an e-mail from Exxon headquarters in Irving, Texas.