LITIGATION: A Lawsuit as Big as Alaska

A Lawsuit as Big as Alaska

When Exxon reckoned in July that it would spend nearly $1.3 billion to clean up its Alaskan oil spill, liability lawyers knew that was just the beginning. In Anchorage last week the state of Alaska filed a civil suit against the petroleum giant and the owners of the trans-Alaska pipeline, seeking unspecified damages that could total billions of dollars. Alaska charges the oil companies with deceiving the public about the safety of the shipping operation and with incompetence in the cleanup.

Alaska v. Exxon et al is likely to break some courtroom records. Robert LeResche, who heads the state's investigation of...

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