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LIGHTFOOT FRANKLIN FOR EXXON WINS ALABAMA SUPREME COURT REVERSAL OF $3.5B PUNITIVE AWARD
In an 8-1 decision, Alabama's Supreme Court, in ExxonMobil Corp. v. Alabama Department of Conservation and Natural Resources, Ms. 1031167 (Ala. Nov. 1, 2007), struck a $3.5 billion punitive damage award in its entirety, and reduced the breach of contract award from $63.8M to $51.9M. The opinion was authored by Justice Parker. Chief Justice Cobb dissented, stating that she would affirm a portion of the punitive damage award.
ExxonMobil's appeal was handled, along with others, by Lightfoot, Franklin and White attorneys Sam Pointer, Sam Franklin, and Christian King. Franklin and King argued the case before the Alabama Supreme Court.
The state's Supreme Court confirmed a 2003 jury verdict requiring Exxon to pay compensatory damages of $51.9 million. But the court threw out the $3.5 billion punitive damages because Alabama didn't prove Exxon defrauded the state of royalties owed on the company's natural gas production at its offshore Mobile Bay facilities, according to the ruling.
Follow links for articles on this opinion...
"Exxon Wins $3.5 Billion Appeal in Alabama Fees Case" - Bloomberg
"$3.6 billion ruling rejected" - Birmingham News
"Ala. Court Cuts $3.6B Verdict Vs. Exxon" - AP