Tuesday, October 25, 2011

Nigerians seek $1 bln from Shell over oil spills

25 October 2011

 A Nigerian community from the oil-rich Niger Delta has filed a lawsuit in the United States seeking $1 billion in compensation from Anglo-Dutch oil major Shell for decades of pollution caused by oil spills.
Last week the U.S. Supreme Court agreed to decide if companies can be held liable in the United States for international human rights law violations.

The decision was related to a case involving allegations that Shell helped Nigeria violently suppress oil exploration protests in the 1990s.

The $1 billion compensation case was filed at a court in Detroit last week, citing the U.S. Alien Tort Statue law, which dates back from 1789. It has been used in the past to charge companies in the United States for breaches of international law.

The suit was brought on behalf of the people of Ogale in the Eleme local government area, where a United Nations environmental report earlier this year found people drinking water contaminated with carcinogens at 900 times the World Health Organization's safety limit.

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