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In re the Exxon Valdez v. Hazelwood

United States Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit
270 F.3d 1215 (2001)


Facts

The Exxon Valdez, an oil tanker captained by Joseph Hazelwood (defendant) and owned by Exxon Corporation (Exxon) (defendant), ran aground on the Bligh Reef in Prince William Sound, Alaska, on March 24, 1989, causing a massive oil spill into the water and onto adjacent shores. The spill caused injuries to wildlife, damages to property, and harm to the economic interests of commercial fishermen and others. Several classes of commercial fishermen, natives, and landowners (plaintiffs) filed suit for compensatory and punitive damages. The jury found for the plaintiffs, and the district court entered judgment. Exxon and Hazelwood appealed. The plaintiffs cross-appealed from the district court’s summary judgment against the claimants who suffered purely economic injury from the oil spill.

Rule of Law

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Issue

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Holding and Reasoning (Kleinfeld, J.)

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  • A “yes” or “no” answer to the question framed in the issue section;
  • A summary of the majority or plurality opinion, using the CREAC method; and
  • The procedural disposition (e.g. reversed and remanded, affirmed, etc.).

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