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Landmark jurisdiction case to be heard in Supreme Court: UK mining company may be liable for pollution by Zambian subsidiary

On 15th and 16th January 2019 the Supreme Court will hear Vedanta's second appeal against the High Court's jurisdiction ruling in the case of Dominic Liswaniso Lungowe vs Vedanta Resources and Konkola Copper Mines

The case could represent a precedent in UK law, as, if a duty of care is found to be owed by Vedanta towards the claimants, this would be the first reported case in which a parent company would have been held to owe a duty of care to a person affected by the operations of a subsidiary who is not an employee of the subsidiary…

In April 2016 a High Court ruling granted the claimants jurisdiction to have their case against KCM and Vedanta heard in the UK, citing KCM’s uncertain and opaque finances as one reason they may not be able to get justice in Zambia. The Court of Appeal upheld this verdict in July 2017…

A range of groups will join a protest outside the Supreme Court which has been called under the title 'Make Pollution Political'…Protesters…will decry this British company’s complete disregard for human rights and environment, and echo the community's demands for KCM to:

  • Stop polluting the rivers immediately. Close down the plant until pollution control measures are replaced and upgraded.
  • Provide clean water to the villages immediately, by tankers or pipes.
  • De-silt the Mushishima stream and Kafue River and remove contaminated waste.
  • Remediate the entire polluted area to make it safe to live, farm and fish there again.
  • Compensate the affected people for loss of health and livelihood. All medical costs should be paid by KCM/Vedanta in future.

Part of the following stories

Vedanta Resources lawsuit (re water contamination, Zambia)

UK Supreme Court to hear case on parent company's responsibility for its subsidiary polluting local water sources in Zambia