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
for international human rights law violations. United States
The decision was related to a case involving allegations that Shell helped
violently suppress oil exploration protests in the 1990s. Nigeria
The $1 billion compensation case was filed at a court in
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 Detroit for breaches of international law. United States
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.