National Fisheries Institute Wants Exxon to Pay Up
NFI supports fairness for all those impacted by Exxon Valdez
The National Fisheries Institute fully supports efforts to force
Exxon to pay the damages it owes as a result of 1989s Valdez oil spill.
Alaskas fishing industry and the broader seafood communities were
impacted by the devastating effects of the spill nearly two decades
ago, said NFI president John Connelly. From Alaskas iconic salmon to
herring populations, everything in Prince William Sound was affected.
It caused serious damage to the environment and the fishing economy.
Were confident the Supreme Court will see the need for punitive
damages in this unique case.
NFI has filed an amicus brief with the court laying out its support
for ensuring maritime law allows for punitive damages. The brief
highlights Exxons reprehensible conduct and explains how maritime
businesses were forced into bankruptcy or dire finical straits in the
wake of the spill.
On Wednesday the Supreme Court will hear arguments surrounding the
$2.5 billion dollar punitive damage verdict, awarded by a jury to
punish Exxon. The oil giant is asking the court to strike down the
award altogether. Exxon is questioning whether the award is within the
limits permitted by federal maritime law and whether a ship owner
should have to pay punitive damages at all for the conduct of a ships
master at sea.
Were talking about roughly the equivalent of 125 Olympic-sized
swimming pools worth of oil spilled over a region that contains 9,000
miles of shoreline, in an area where many hardworking people make their
living from fishing. This was a spill of immense proportion and impact.
The punishment should be equivalent. Punitive damages will help ensure
Exxon takes the necessary steps to avoid this type of disaster in the
future. And will send a message to others that recklessness of this
kind will not be tolerated.
For more than 60 years, the National Fisheries Institute (NFI)
and its members have provided American families with the variety of
sustainable seafood essential to a healthy diet. For more information