It is a sad day for justice here in Alaska where the majority of plaintiffs (including the authors of this blog) in the Exxon Valdez damages case reside. It was nearly 20 years ago that an alcoholic skipper drove the super tanker onto Bligh Reef setting off a chain of destruction that impacted coastal life and economies throughout much of Alaska. Today the U.S. Supreme Court slashed the punitive damages awarded against Exxon to approximately 1/10 of the amount that an Alaska jury had established as punishment for the oil company's reckless behaviour.
WSJ Blog- http://blogs.wsj.com/law/2008/06/25/breaking-news-high-court-rules-in-punis-child-rape-cases/
Anchorage Daily News article- http://www.adn.com/exxonvaldez/story/446057.html
Thus the collective wisdom that resides in a jury has been tossed aside and Exxon is free of any serious threat to its bottom line no matter how recklessly they operate their tankers.