Dutch court rejects lawsuit over Ivory Coast spill

The victims last year dragged Dutch-Swiss commodity trader Trafigura to court in a last-ditch bid for compensation after the spill in the west African country's commercial capital a decade ago.

Dutch court rejects lawsuit over Ivory Coast spill

World Bulletin / News Desk

A Dutch court rejected Wednesday a class-action lawsuit by a foundation claiming to represent more than 100,000 victims of a 2006 toxic spill in Ivory Coast, saying it was unconvinced by the claim.

The Netherlands-based foundation, calling itself "Stichting Union des Victims de Dechet Toxiques d'Abidjan et Banlieues", asked judges to rule that Trafigura -- who offloaded the chemicals -- be held responsible for the spill, clean it up and pay compensation to victims.

But the Amsterdam District Court said "it could not be established that the foundation in fact represented the claimants and how many claimants there are".

"It is also established that the foundation's legal action can not be proven to be in the best interest of those affected," the judges said in papers published online.

"Therefore the claim is rejected."

Wednesday's court papers did not mention an amount in the claim.

In mid-2006, toxic residues on board the Panamanian-registered Probo Koala freighter were prevented from being offloaded for treatment in Amsterdam's port.

The ship and waste were sent to Abidjan instead, where it was dumped on the west African city's waste tips.

Over 500 cubic metres (18,000 cubic feet) of spent caustic soda, oil residues and water killed 17 people and poisoned thousands, Ivorian judges said.

Foundation lawyer Yorick Boendermaker told AFP he was "very disappointed" but would first study the judgement before deciding whether to lodge an appeal.

Trafigura, which denies any link between the waste and subsequent deaths, has previously reached out-of-court settlements for 33 million euros (35 million) and 152 million euros in Britain and the Ivory Coast.

A second case in a Dutch court against Trafigura -- which is headquartered in Switzerland but registered in The Netherlands -- on behalf of another foundation was filed in March.



Last Mod: 30 Kasım 2016, 20:29
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