22 December 2006

Cutting back

So as I understand it, you can employ a guy who gets drunk while driving a huge oil tanker, who then crashes it in one of the most beautiful parts of the one of the most beautiful states in the country, do tremendous damage to industries on which thousands of people depend, soil the reputation of the state's most important industry, be found guilty in court, get assessed punitive damages, drag your feet on paying the damages, get harassed by senators about your delay in paying those damages, go on to set records for quarterly profits... and still think that three consecutive cuts in your punitive damages by federal courts is insufficient.

This, more than anything else, I think, says so much about where power is concentrated in our democracy... and it's not with the demos.

For Exxon to say it shouldn't have to pay more than 25 million dollars takes chutzpah to a new a level. "Gall" is not a strong enough word. In fact, I don't think there is a strong enough word to describe this. It's simply unbelievable.

2 comments:

First Alaskan Man said...

Take it a step further and add that if a jury; sitting anywhere in the USA can be overruled by judge(s) on what is a “reasonable amount”, what is the point of having juries sitting in on awards to begin with? As a jurist, it is a waste of my time, taxpayers’ money and a farce to disguise a legal robbery to railroad a jury verdict.
Republican or Democrat, it doesn’t matter, I could never figure out if I’m a liberal Republican or a Right wing Democrat. I hope it’s the latter, but heck, to be productive, now that is the best social program I have ever found.

FishTaxi said...

Exxon will never pay up, not in my lifetime anyway. Its been so long, almost half the plaintiffs are dead or too old, to fish now.