Nigerian villagers sue Shell over oil spills
Roughly 11,000 villagers from Nigeria sued Shell on Friday due to oil spills in their area.
This is the first time any oil firm has faced legal action from people in that country.
Shell, which the largest international firm operating in Nigeria, previously admitted liability for two oil spills in Aug. 2011, which amounted to 4,000 barrels.
There has been debate over whether the spills were due to operations failures from Shell or from sabotage.
Representatives of the Bodo community say that the spill amounted to 600,000.
“We have urged them to have their expert work with our expert,” said Martyn Day of law firm Leigh Day & Co. “But (Shell has) totally refused.”
The United Nations released a report in August which said that cleanup work could take up to 30 years and cost $1 billion.
Villages and communities are also unhappy with Shell and other oil firms due to 50 years of environmental damage and the execution of activist Ken Saro-Wiwa by Nigeria’s former military regime in 1995.
However, the communities would have welcomed Shell’s help during the 2008 spills.
“The communities were absolutely desperate to bring Shell to get the leak capped,” Day said.
The U.S. Supreme Court is also looking into another lawsuit by 12 Nigerians against Shell claiming that it aided a government crackdown in the Niger Delta in the 1990s.