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Exxon Shipping Co. v. Baker
United States Supreme Court
554 U.S. 471, 128 S.Ct. 2605, 171 L.Ed.2d 570 (2008)
The Exxon Valdez oil tanker ran aground, dumping oil into Prince William Sound due to the negligence of its captain, an employee of Exxon Shipping Co. (Exxon) (defendant). Baker and other local fishermen and individuals who used the Sound for their livelihood (Baker et al.) (plaintiffs) brought suit for economic losses. The district court awarded Baker et al. $507.5 million in compensatory damages and $5 billion in punitive damages. The United States Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit remitted the punitive damages to $2.5 billion. Exxon appealed.
Rule of Law
Holding and Reasoning (Souter, J.)
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