As Senior U.S. District Judge John P. Fullam prepared to retire from the bench on April 15 after 50 years of judicial service, one of the biggest cases still pending on his docket was a $177 million maritime case over who should pay for the cleanup of the massive November 2004 oil spill in the Delaware River.
Fullam presided over a 41-day trial that started on Sept. 21 in which the U.S. Justice Department and Frescati Shipping Co., the owner of the oil tanker, were jointly setting out to prove that the entire cost of the cleanup should be borne by Citgo Asphalt Refining Co. and two other Citgo defendants as the operators of an asphalt refinery terminal in Paulsboro, N.J.
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