07/23/2008 05:12 am ET Updated May 25, 2011

Exxon Balks At Paying $488 Million In Interest On Valdez Spill Damages

ExxonMobil has balked at paying $488 million in interest on punitive damages that plaintiffs say it owes for its role in the 1989 Prince William Sound oil spill in Alaska, saying "there is no good reason" for the Supreme Court to assess interest.

Last week, the people who are owed money from the Exxon Valdez lawsuit asked the Supreme Court to make it clear that they should receive interest, even though the court cut the punitive damages award in June from $2.5 billion to $507 million.

On Tuesday, the oil giant disagreed. In its filing, the company says that "the court has held that $507.5 million is the legally correct amount necessary to deter Exxon and others from future oil spills," and not millions more in interest.

"The deterrent for future oil spills will thus be the same whether post-judgment interest is paid or not," the company wrote. "Future spills in Exxon's position will know that their punishment will be in an amount up to the extent of the damage they cause."

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