Exxon settlement checks arriving
Longtime Haines fishermen recently received checks from the Exxon Qualified Settlement Fund.
The checks are next to the last ones that will be issued, according to officials with the fund.
Many Lynn Canal gillnetters fishing at the time of the March 1989 spill are covered under the settlement category of "unoiled" fisheries. Fishermen’s claims included the loss of value of their catch due to a drop in the salmon market following the spill.
Checks arriving in Haines this week were in amounts ranging from a few hundred to a few thousand dollars, depending on where in Alaska fishermen worked, what other claims they filed, and what amounts they’ve received to date.
Twenty-two percent of claim amounts goes to pay attorneys.
Gillnetter Norman Hughes received five checks totaling a little more than $2,000, including for principal and interest for compensatory and punitive damages, and a supplemental claim distribution.
Hughes said he’s waited nearly 22 years for the money and would donate some of it to a memorial fund in the name of the late Mike Saunders, president of Lynn Canal Gillnetters’ Association.
Final payments from the fund to fishermen are expected to go out beginning in 2011. For more information, go to www.exspill.com.