WASHINGTON -- The U.S. Supreme Court agreed Monday to take up the issue of damages awarded in the long-running legal battle over the grounding of the tanker Exxon Valdez.
The high court will rule on the legality of the $2.5 billion punitive damages award foisted upon Exxon Mobil and its shipping subsidiary after the vessel went aground in Alaska and dumped crude oil into the waters of Prince William Sound.
The court said in a statement the case would be limited to maritime law issues and not to the contention that the award was excessive and unconstitutional. The court also said the justices declined to hear a cross-appeal to have the original $5 billion award reinstated.
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