A Dutch court yesterday indicted Shell Nigeria of being partly liable for environmental damage and asked it to pay compensation to a Nigerian farmer. However, the World Press reports that the court in its ruling on the Shell-Nigeria oil pollution case also ruled that Shell’s parent company cannot be held liable for oil spills in the Niger Delta. Four Nigerian farmers had sued Shell for polluting and destroying their farmlands and rivers.
This is the first time in Dutch history that victims from Shell’s host countries have pursued a civil liability claim in the country where Shell has its headquarters, the Netherlands.
In October 2012, four Nigerian villagers took Royal Dutch Shell to court in a landmark pollution case. The fishermen and farmers, together with Friends of the Earth, Netherlands, accused the Anglo-Dutch oil company of polluting land and waterways around their homes in the Niger Delta region.