EF! Fined $1million in Idaho

J Zeigler microz at homenet.ie
Sun Nov 10 08:01:02 EST 1996

D. Braun wrote:
> On Sun, 10 Nov 1996, J Zeigler wrote:
> > D. Braun wrote:
> > >
> > <snipped>
> > > describe how punitive
> > > damages that are 5000% of property damage is reasonable. Do you believe
> > > that either this figure will be upheld on appeal, or should be? Really.
> >
> > I would expect that it will be upheld, simply because it was awarded by
> > a jury and the courts power is actually limited, although they hate to
> > admit it. Should it be, yes, the Jury is the only one that was in a
> > position to hear all the facts and view all the witnesses. Something
> > obviously raised the hair on the back of the necks of this jury.
> >
> > --
> > John R. Zeigler
> OK, by your reasoning, Exxon's fine should have been a tad larger.  Maybe
> someone can do the exact math, but 50 times the clean-up costs of about 1
> billion is 50,000,000,000. That dosen't include the impacts to fisheries
> in the spill year, the failed herring roe fishery, or the fact that the
> cleanup did not entirely succeed. So, let's add another billion to the
> original damages--- now we have punative damages of 100,000,000,000.  You
> just agreed, in principle, that we should support Exxon's bankruptcy.
> Interesting.

My reasoning had nothing to do with whether the markup should be 50
times or 1 times. Read it again and try not to let your own prejudice
show. I said that the Jury determined the level of punishment. I don't
seem to remember that the Valdez was an intentional act, seems it was
due more to negligence or accident. One hell of a difference, I'm just
sorry your not able to understand it! 

More to the point of your argument, if you want to drive your car on
petrol, then there are going to be risks. If you want a risk free world,
get a straight jacket, and wear it!

John R. Zeigler

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