The U.S. Supreme Court granted Exxon Mobil Corporation’s (“Exxon Mobil”) Petition for a Writ of Certiorari (2006 WL 1786680, 75 USLW 3009, 6/29/2006) and vacated the punitive damages award granted in the Grefer suit. See, Exxon Mobil Corporation v. Grefer, Joseph, et al., 05-1670 __ S.Ct. __, 2007 WL 559870 (2/26/2007).
Plaintiffs claimed that their property had been contaminated with naturally occurring radioactive material (“NORM”) as a result of the pipe cleaning operations conducted thereon. A jury rendered judgment for the plaintiffs and awarded $56.145 million in compensatory damages, $145,000 in general damages, $56 million in restoration costs, and $1 billion in exemplary/punitive damages. The Louisiana Fourth Circuit Court of Appeal affirmed the awards of compensatory damages, general damages, and damages awarded for restoration costs, but reduced the $1billion award for punitive damages to $112.290 million.