The Supreme Court refused today to hear a case in which the ExxonMobil Corp. contended it should not have to pay $5 billion in punitive damages for the 1989 Exxon Valdez oil spill in Alaska. The corporation’s lawyers had urged the justices to throw out the penalty on grounds of irregularities during jury deliberations when the case about the nation’s worst oil spill was first heard. Tom Cirigliano, an ExxonMobil spokesperson, said the corporation would continue to dispute the payment through other court appeals. Cirigliano said, “We’re not even close [to the end of the disputes]. This doesn’t have any effect whatsoever on us having to pay the $5 billion.”

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