40 000 Nigerians will be heard in court over Shell oil spills; company contests lawsuits

Royal Dutch Shell will face environmental claims in a London high court, from two Nigerian communities who have suffered pollution episodes following repeated large-scale oil spills from the oil giant’s pipelines in the Niger Delta. The company is contesting the lawsuits. Both Royal Dutch Shell and the company's subsidiary in Nigeria, Shell Petroleum Development Company of Nigeria Ltd (SPDC), argue that the cases should be heard in Nigeria and not in the English courts. The company has already paid out GBP55 million, or roughly $80 million, to compensate another Niger Delta-based community in a settlement reached last year after they brought a separate lawsuit in London. In that instance, Shell admitted the spills were caused by operational failures. 

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Article
18 November 2016

Shell fights lawsuits in London over environmental record in Nigeria

Author: Sarah Kent, Morning Star Advisor

"Shell Fights Lawsuits Over Environmental Record in Nigeria", 19 Nov 2016

Royal Dutch Shell PLC is fighting lawsuits this coming week in London and the Netherlands over its environmental record in Nigeria...The hearings in London's High Court...represent an early test for cases brought by the community of Ogale and a group from the Bille Kingdom. The communities are hoping to hold Shell accountable for environmental damage they claim has been caused by spills from infrastructure operated by Shell's Nigerian subsidiary, Shell Petroleum Development Co. of Nigeria Ltd., or SPDC...Shell is expected to argue that only the subsidiary should be held liable and that the cases should be heard in Nigeria, SPDC's base and where the incidents took place. But the communities and their lawyers say seeking justice in Nigeria won't hold Shell responsible for the actions of its subsidiary and is extraordinarily difficult...Shell blames the spills in the legal cases on third-party interference, like sabotage and theft...Shell also maintains that it cleans up all oil spills, regardless of the cause....

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Article
18 November 2016

40,000 Nigerians take Shell to UK court over oil spills

Author: Nigeria Today (Nigeria)

"40,000 Nigerians take Shell to UK court over oil spills", 16 Nov 2016

UK based oil firm, Shell, is facing fenvironmental claims in a London high court from two Nigerian communities who have suffered pollution episodes following repeated large scale oil spills from the oil giant’s pipelines in the Niger Delta. The two separate legal actions are being brought by law firm Leigh Day who represented the Bodo Community against Shell in an unprecedented environmental claim resulting in Shell agreeing to pay compensation package of £55million to the Community and 15,600 Nigerian fishermen whose livelihoods had been destroyed by Shell’s oil pollution. The high court will begin to hear arguments during a four-day hearing starting on November 21, 2016 on whether the English courts can hear two legal claims on behalf of over 40,000 Nigerians against Royal Dutch Shell (RDS) and its Nigerian subsidiary, Shell Petroleum Development Company of Nigeria Ltd (SPDC) for extensive environmental damage caused by oil pollution to two separate communities in the Niger Delta...The first claim is being brought on behalf of 2,335 individuals from the Bille Kingdom of Nigeria...The second claim is brought on behalf of the Ogale Community in Ogoniland, which consists of roughly 40,000 people...

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