Every person has a responsibility towards the environment. There have been several examples across the world where even the rich and powerful had to bear the brunt of being careless and neglecting the environment. Here are few such eco-lawsuits that you everyone must know.
1.Monsanto Ordered to Pay $46.5 Million in PCB Lawsuit
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Now this was a rare win for Plaintiffs. The verdict given by St Louis jury helped three plaintiffs get $ 46.5 million from Monsanto and three other companies. Monsanto was charged with negligence in the handling of a group of toxic and carcinogenic chemicals known as polychlorinated biphenyls. According to the lawsuit, Monsanto sold these compounds even after knowing their fatal effects. Shockingly, it was found that they were aware of the side effects even before the compounds were banned.
- Deepwater horizon oil spill
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This is probably one of the worst oil spills in the world which ejected 206 million gallons of oil in the sea and even resulted in a loss of 12 lives.It occurred in the Gulf of Mexico in April 2010.The judge ruling the Clean Water Act suite concluded that BP was responsible for the accident which had a detrimental effect on the marine wildlife. BP has spent money to the tune of $ 6.2 million for cleaning up the ocean and as compensation.
- Exxon Shipping company vs Baker
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An oil tanker Exxon Valdez spilled several million gallons of oil in Prince William Sound. Exxon has paid several million dollars as compensation to victims. The company had to spend several billion dollars to settle the lawsuits like Clean Water Act and those by private parties and Punitive damages. According to the final verdict by the Alaska District Court, Exxon was slammed with $ 20 million as compensation charges and $ 5 billion as punitive charges.
- McLibel Case
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This case was filed by McDonalds Corporation against Helen Steel and David Morris who are environmental activists. The case was filed due to a pamphlet which criticised the company. Some of the claims were true while some were defamatory by the English court. The case went on for record 10 years. The company later announced that they would not take the 40,000 pounds that had been awarded to it by the court.
5.Aguinda vs. ChevronTexaco
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This case is 19 years old and is mainly regarding the air pollution and the damaging and harmful effects that the company operations had on the people living there. This case which was filed in New York in the year 1993 against Chevron company on behalf of 30,000 people of the Amazon region of Ecuador. The case was later transferred to the Ecuadorian court. The main accusations against Texaco were that the company made use of production practices which were of an unacceptable quality which resulted in the pollution. As per the allegations, several gallons of toxic waste was left in water and pits,several gallons of oil was spilled and toxic waste was burnt. Chevron claims that they had done the clean-up part. This is a case which involves the largest award for the damages to the environment.
- Burmah Oil Co. vs Lord Advocate
This case which was raised in Scotland and ended in the House of Lords was regarding the destruction of oil fields in Burma by the British soldiers during the Second World War. This was done by the British forces to prevent the installations from falling into Japanese hands but this adversely affected the Burma Oil Company. The House of Lords passed the judgement that the damage was lawful.
Any damages to the environment can have a detrimental effect on precious life. Therefore, even if a person or company with lots of power is involved they will have to bear the consequences.