31 January 2013
Judgment of Dutch court in case concerning Shell Nigeria’s liability for oil spills in Nigeria
On 30 January 2013, the District Court of The Hague held that Shell Petroleum Development Company of Nigeria Ltd (Shell Nigeria) is liable for oil spills in Nigeria. Shell Nigeria was sentenced to pay damages to one Nigerian plaintiff for oil pollution damage that was caused by third party sabotage in Nigeria. According to the Court, Shell Nigeria has violated its duty of care and did not take sufficient measures to prevent sabotage by third parties.
The Court dismissed four other lawsuits that were brought by Nigerian farmers and fishermen, together with Milieudefensie (Friends of the Earth Netherlands), against other Shell entities and the parent company, claiming compensation for oil pollution damage that was suffered, and allegedly caused by poor maintenance of the Shell defendants.