The Alabama Supreme Court has thrown out nearly all of a record $3.6 billion verdict that the state government won against Exxon Mobil in a dispute over natural gas royalties.

In an 8-to-1 decision, the state’s highest court awarded Alabama nearly $52 million in compensatory damages. The court ruled there was no fraud by the oil company and it threw out all punitive damages, which made up most of the original verdict. The verdict set a state record when it was issued in 2003.

The state conservation department had sued Exxon Mobil, saying it had intentionally underpaid the state for royalties due from natural gas wells the company drilled in state-owned waters along the Alabama coast. The company argued that no fraud was involved, and the case was an ordinary contract dispute. Company attorney Dave Boyd says the decision affirms the company’s position that this was never a fraud case.

One of the state’s attorneys, Jere Beasley, calls it a truly sad day for Alabama. He says the state will likely ask the Supreme Court to reconsider the decision.

The Supreme Court split along party lines in issuing the decision. Republican Justice Tom Parker wrote the majority decision and the court’s other Republicans agreed. The court’s lone Democrat, Chief Justice Sue Bell Cobb, dissented.



We're here to help!

We live by our creed of "helping those who need it most" and have helped thousands of clients get the justice they desperately needed and deserved. If you feel you have a case or just have questions please contact us for a free consultation. There is no risk and no fees unless we win for you.

Fields marked    may be required for submission.
  1. I'm an attorney

Judge Sides with Exxon in Payment Dispute with State

The billions that state officials had once coveted from the largest jury verdict in Alabama history is...

Another Voice on the Exxon Case

A recent editorial appeared in the Montgomery Independent dealing with the court's ruling in favor of...

Jim Martin Speaks Out on Exxon

Jim Martin, who served as Commissioner of the Alabama Department of Conservation and Natural Resources...

High Court Nullifies Exxon Jury Verdict

The Alabama Supreme Court, by tossing nearly 99 percent of a $3.6 billion verdict against ExxonMobil,...

Exxon Juror Laments Decision

The Alabama Supreme Court has slapped the citizens of Alabama in the face with their corporate-loyal...

State Supreme Court Ruling May Put Freeze on...

The state Legislature may not have as much money to open up programs they wanted after the Alabama Court...

Lawyers and staff continue to help me

I suffered from an allergic reaction to a common medication causing permanent injury when I was 15 years old. My settlement allows me to take care of myself instead of being on disability. Even after my case was over, the lawyers and staff continue to help me.

—Tamika