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22 Jan 2010

Leigh Day & Co

Victims of Toxic waste Despair as Ivory Coast Court of Appeal Orders Transfer of Compensation Monies

This morning the Court of Appeal in Abidjan ordered that the compensation monies held in the Leigh Day account...be transferred to the account of Mr Claude Gouhourou. The 30,000 victims who were due to receive their compensation are now beside themselves with worry that they will not receive the compensation they were entitled to under the terms of the settlement reached with Trafigura in...September 2009...Mr Gouhourou...was one of the fifty or so representatives of the many communities in Abidjan affected by the toxic waste. In his evidence he stated that he and the other representatives had set up a coordinating association of which he was the president and that this association had the responsibility for distributing the compensation monies. The documents provided by Mr Gouhourou to prove his case have been shown since this time to be false. The other representatives all deny the existence of any such association...Leigh Day's lawyers are immediately looking to lodge an appeal but there is every concern that Mr Gouhourou will try and have the money transferred before that happens...Martyn Day, senior partner at Leigh Day said today: 'In 30 years of practice I cannot remember a more depressing Court decision...'

Part of the following timelines

Côte d’Ivoire: Abidjan court rules that a local activist should distribute Trafigura waste pay-out - claimants' lawyers fear that victims will not receive the funds

Trafigura lawsuit (re hazardous waste disposal in Côte d’Ivoire, filed in UK)