Here’s a response to the motion from Sea Hawk Seafoods Inc. to toss out the allocation plan for Exxon Valdez punitive damages and replace it with a different plan (The Highliner, Oct. 19 and 21).
David Oesting, lead lawyer for the nearly 33,000 commercial fishermen and other oil spill claimants hoping for checks soon, makes several key points in his 32-page response filed yesterday:
• Sea Hawk is trying to score an extra $7.6 million for itself.
• The processor doesn’t deserve it, having agreed years ago to abide by the allocation plan it is now attacking.
• If the judge will just sweep aside Sea Hawk’s “unmeritorious motion,” lawyers can get on with distributing the $383 million Exxon has paid, beginning with $140 million to salmon fishermen and others.
• If Sea Hawk prevails, it’ll be years of warfare costing tens of millions of dollars as each plaintiff fights to establish his claim to a share of the Exxon money.
The Highliner last week tried to reach a Sea Hawk lawyer, but so far he’s not called back.