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Fri December 19, 2003
Exxon Fights Natural Gas Royalties Verdict
By Alabama Public Radio
Mobile, AL – Exxon Mobil is opposing the latest verdict delivered against it in a lawsuit filed by the state that says the company intentionally defrauded Alabama out of natural gas royalties.
Exxon attorneys have asked Montgomery County Circuit Judge Tracey McCooey to either throw out an 11-point-9 billion dollar jury award -- or grant a new trial. The jury award included 11-point-8 billion in punitive damages in its verdict last month -- the largest ever in Alabama and more than the state's attorneys had sought.
In the first trial, in 2000, a Montgomery jury awarded the state 3-and a-half billion dollars -- also a record at the time. But that verdict was overturned by the Alabama Supreme Court, which ruled the jury was wrongly allowed to see one of the oil company's internal legal memos.
Exxon filed its appeal on Monday. A hearing on the motion could come in February.