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30 Oct 2019

News lens (Taiwan)

Taipei Court Dismisses Lawsuit Filed by 8,000 Vietnam Marine Disaster Victims

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On October 14, 2019, the Taipei District Court dismissed a lawsuit filed by nearly 8,000 Vietnamese fishermen against Taiwan-based Formosa Plastics Group (FPG) over a 2016 marine disaster in Vietnam. The court said that it had no jurisdiction to rule on the case, but the plaintiff's lawyers filed an appeal on October 24.

The marine disaster, which took place on April 6, 2016, is seen as the most serious environmental disaster in Vietnamese history. The incident, caused by the discharge of toxic waste into the sea by FPG subsidiary Ha Tinh Steel Corporation, led to the death of massive amounts of fish and marine life in central Vietnam.

The fishing industry in the affected areas has declined dramatically after the marine disaster and it estimated that complete recovery would take about a decade.

FPG accepted responsibility for the disaster on June 30, 2016, and agreed to give US$500 million in compensation to the Vietnamese government for disaster relief work. Yet, the Vietnamese government mainly gave compensation to those who live in Ha Tinh. Those who live in other parts of central Vietnam...have not received any money.

...Both human rights and environmental lawyers expressed their disappointment with the ruling outside the Taipei district court on October 24 and vowed to bring the jurisdiction rule to the High Court.

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