July 21, 2008

Senate Judiciary Hears Exxon Valdez Victim on Spill Disaster Misconduct


Contact: Aric Caplan for The Whole Truth, +1-301-998-6592, or [email protected]

CORDOVA, Alaska, July 21 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- A native fisherman from Alaska, Ms. Osa Schultz, will testify at a Senate Judiciary Committee hearing on the devastating impact the Exxon Valdez oil spill continues to have on her family, her business and her community. The hearing, "Courting Big Business: The Supreme Court's Recent Decisions on Corporate Misconduct and Laws Regulating Corporations," will be held on Wednesday July 23 at 10:00 AM in Room 226 of the Senate Dirksen Office Building.

According to a press release issued by Committee Chairman Patrick Leahy (D-Vt.), the hearing will review how recent decisions by the Supreme Court have shielded corporations engaged in misconduct, including last month's decision in Exxon Shipping Co. v. Baker. For more information, click here: http://leahy.senate.gov/press/200807/ 071508c.html

The Committee invited Ms. Schultz to testify as a representative of the 32,000 plaintiffs in Exxon Shipping Co. v. Baker, a 20-year fight for punitive damages over the Exxon Valdez oil spill, the worst spill disaster in American history. On June 25, the Supreme Court ruled against the plaintiffs as well as the decisions of the original jury in the case, which awarded the fishermen $5 billion in punitive damages, and the Ninth Circuit, which reduced the award to $2.5 billion. The Court slashed the award to $507 million, amounting to approximately $12,000 per plaintiff: pennies compared to the enormous losses incurred since the spill.

"The recent decision by the United States Supreme Court trumps the rights of the individual for the benefit of bottom line corporate interests, specifically for the largest corporation in the world which continues to reap record profits," said Osa Schultz.

Osa Schultz is part of a long-time Alaska fishing family that spans several generations. At the hearing on Wednesday, she will testify to how the Exxon Valdez oil spill destroyed her business and her community, and continues to haunt the people, the economy and the climate of Prince William Sound. She is a spokesperson of The Whole Truth Campaign. Joining her at the hearing on Wednesday will be Whole Truth representatives Travis Vlasoff, director at the Tatitlek Corporation, and Jennifer Gibbins, Executive Director of Prince William Soundkeeper.


The Whole Truth campaign is supported by leading Alaska advocacy organizations Prince William Soundkeeper and Cordova District Fishermen United. Native and commercial fishermen are available to speak to their direct personal experiences as victims of the fall- out of the Exxon Valdez Oil Spill. To interview Osa Schultz and/or Travis Vlasoff and Jennifer Gibbins, contact Aric Caplan at 301-998- 6592 or go to www.wholetruth.net.

Aric Caplan | Phone: 301/998-6592

[email protected]

SOURCE The Whole Truth

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