By creating this strict liability standard for the TAPLF, Congress eliminated the need to litigate the question of blame or fault, at least to the $100 million cap.
According to Kastner, the important consideration is that Congress saw fit to establish the TAPLF and give it the power to handle these types of claims.
The first is the Fishermen's Exception, which allows commercial fishermen to recover lost profits from the defendant oil company when an oil spill causes diminished fish harvests.(82) The second came from Congress itself when it enacted the Trans-Alaska Pipeline Authorization Act (TAPAA) and, with it, the TAPLF.(83)
Under the TAPAA, if oil that has been transported through the Trans-Alaska Pipeline spills, the owner and operator of the vessel and the TAPLF shall be strictly liable for all damages caused by an oil spill.(84) "Strict liability for all claims arising out of any one incident shall not exceed $100,000,000."(85) If the total claims allowed exceed $100 million, each persons' claims are reduced proportionately.(86) The unpaid portion of any claim can be sought from the defendants in the courts.
Like Robins Dry Dock, the Special Injury Rule has not been abandoned despite the criticisms by numerous legal scholars.(119) Judge Holland was not the only one to conclude that the plaintiffs could not recover for injuries that were not sufficiently "special." The TAPLF also concluded that such claims were not entitled to recovery.
Under the TAPLF, those injured as a result of the oil spill could simply submit a claim detailing their injuries and the TAPLF administrators would accept or reject the claim.
The TAPLF and Exxon's active efforts to settle claims through its Claims Program created a benefit to all parties.