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Wed Jan 30, 2013, 05:44 AM

Dutch court says Shell partly responsible for Nigeria spills

Source: Reuters

(Reuters) - A Dutch court ruled on Wednesday that Royal Dutch Shell can be held partially responsible for pollution in the Niger Delta in southern Nigeria, saying the company should have prevented sabotage at one of its facilities.

The district court in The Hague ordered Shell to pay unspecified damages to one farmer, but dismissed four other claims filed against the Dutch parent company.

The case was seen by activists as a test for holding multinational companies responsible for alleged offences at foreign subsidiaries.

Four Nigerians and interest group Friends of the Earth filed the suit in 2008 in the Netherlands, where Shell has its global headquarters, seeking reparations for lost income from contaminated land and waterways in the Niger Delta region.

Read more: http://uk.reuters.com/article/2013/01/30/uk-shell-nigeria-lawsuit-idUKBRE90T0DC20130130

8 replies, 1199 views

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Response to dipsydoodle (Original post)

Wed Jan 30, 2013, 11:16 AM

1. Partly? How can they be partly responsible when it is their well?

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Response to jwirr (Reply #1)

Wed Jan 30, 2013, 12:14 PM

2. It really doesn't matter who...

is responsible, we will pay.

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Response to awoke_in_2003 (Reply #2)

Wed Jan 30, 2013, 01:03 PM

4. If they can get Americans to pay for a Dutch oil company's clean up of oil spills in Nigeria,

they really are good.

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Response to pampango (Reply #4)

Wed Jan 30, 2013, 01:08 PM

5. We will pay...

via higher gas prices. The little guy always pays.

On edit: typed "has" instead go "gas"

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Response to awoke_in_2003 (Reply #5)

Wed Jan 30, 2013, 01:17 PM

7. Shell is only paying damages to one Nigerian farmer. No amount has been determined yet, but

it is doubtful that it will make much difference to a multinational oil company or have much impact on the price of our gas.

The good news is that the Dutch court established the precedent that Shell can be sued for environmental damage in other countries which, hopefully, will motivate the company to upgrade its environmental standards. If they don't they run the risk of much larger court rulings in the future, because it causes plenty of damage to Nigeria's environment.

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Response to jwirr (Reply #1)

Wed Jan 30, 2013, 01:09 PM

6. The headline must have changed. Now: Dutch court says Shell responsible for Nigeria spills

They got rid of the 'partially' in the headline.

Dutch court says Shell responsible for Nigeria spills

A Dutch court ruled on Wednesday that Royal Dutch Shell's Nigerian subsidiary was responsible for a case of oil pollution in the Niger Delta and ordered it to pay damages in a decision that could open the door to further litigation.

A legal expert said the ruling could make it possible for other Nigerians who say they also suffered losses due to Shell's activities to file lawsuits in the Netherlands.

"The fact that a subsidiary has been held responsible by a Dutch court is new and opens new avenues," said Menno Kamminga, professor of international law at Maastricht University.

The court did not just examine the role of the parent company, but also looked "at abuses committed by Shell Nigeria, where the link with the Netherlands is extremely limited," he said. "That's a real breakthrough."

Sounds like good news. It's impressive that a court in the Netherlands would rule against a Netherlands-based multinational oil company for abuses in a far-away country. Hope this leads to good things in the future.

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Response to dipsydoodle (Original post)

Wed Jan 30, 2013, 12:54 PM

3. Like BP, they will drag it out, release propaganda full of lies, and pay a fraction of the damages!

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Response to Dustlawyer (Reply #3)

Thu Jan 31, 2013, 07:47 AM

8. Like Chevron, ... Like Exxon, ... Like Texaco, ... Like ...

They're all the same in that game.

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