ExxonMobil Corporation

In Exxon Shipping Co. v. Baker (Valdez), we persuaded the US Supreme Court that the US$2.5 billion in punitive damages awarded to victims of the Exxon Valdez oil spill by the US Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit was excessive as a matter of maritime common law. In a 5-3 decision, the Court held that the award should be limited to an amount equal to the compensatory damages, and therefore reduced the punitive damages award to approximately US$500 million, the district court’s calculation of the total relevant compensatory damages.