WASHINGTON -- The Supreme Court refused to free Exxon Mobil Corp. from having to pay $5 billion in damages for the 1989 Exxon Valdez oil spill in Alaska, the nation's worst ever.
The nation's highest court, acting without comment Monday, let stand the award stemming from the tanker spill that polluted more than 1,000 miles of shoreline, killed tens of thousands of birds and marine mammals and disrupted fishing.
The oil company still has a variety of other appeals pending, and the high court ruling does not obligate the company to pay anything right away, said company spokesman Tom Cirigliano.
In this appeal, lawyers for Exxon Mobil had urged the justices to throw out the punitive-damages award on grounds of irregularities during jury deliberations.
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