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Federal Contractor Misconduct Database (FCMD)

The federal government routinely awards contracts to companies with histories of misconduct, including contract fraud and other violations. POGO believes that providing this website will help to improve contracting decisions and increase public knowledge of how the government spends billions of taxpayer dollars each year. Read more…

Exxon Valdez Class Action (Punitive Damages)

“On September 24, 1996, the United States District Court for the District of Alaska entered a judgment in the amount of $5 billion in punitive damages to a class composed of all persons and entities who asserted claims for punitive damages from the corporation as a result of the Exxon Valdez grounding. ExxonMobil appealed the judgment. On November 7, 2001, the United States Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit vacated the punitive damage award as being excessive under the Constitution and remanded the case to the District Court for it to determine the amount of the punitive damage award consistent with the Ninth Circuit’s holding. The Ninth Circuit upheld the compensatory damage award which has been paid. On December 6, 2002, the District Court reduced the punitive damage award from $5 billion to $4 billion. Both the plaintiffs and ExxonMobil appealed that decision to the Ninth Circuit. The Ninth Circuit panel vacated the District Court’s $4 billion punitive damage award without argument and sent the case back for the District Court to reconsider in light of the recent U.S. Supreme Court decision in Campbell v. State Farm. On January 28, 2004, the District Court reinstated the punitive damage award at $4.5 billion plus interest.” In May 2007, the Ninth Circuit set punitive damages at $2.5 billion. In June 2008, the Supreme Court ruled that the punitive damages award was excessive as a matter of maritime common law and reduced the award to an amount equal to the District Court’s calculation of the total relevant compensatory damages, or $507.5 million. In June 2009, Exxon was ordered to pay interest on the punitive damages award. [NOTE: Compensatory damages are not included in the FCMD because they were awarded prior to Jan. 1, 1995.]

Misconduct Type
Environment
Enforcement Agency
Non-Governmental
Contracting Party
None
Court Type
Civil
Disposition
Judgment Against Defendant
Date of Supreme Court Decision
6/25/2008
Contractors Involved Penalty
Total
Exxon Mobil $507,500,000
Further Information Released
Supreme Court Opinion 8/15/2008
SEC 10-K (p. 47 of 130) 6/21/2006

Federal Contractor Misconduct Database