LONDON, Sept. 17 (UPI) — Trafigura, a British oil trader, has offered to settle a record court case by 31,000 Africans who claim injury from the dumping of waste, court records show.
The Times of London said it was the largest personal injury class-action ever mounted in an English court.
Trafigura confirmed in London Wednesday that “a global deal” has been proposed. The suit had sought damages totaling 100 million pounds, about $164.8 million.
“We have reached a point where we are now in the process of putting a global deal to the claimants,” Martyn Day, the claimants’ attorney, said.
The action resulted from the dumping of 400 tons of waste in the Ivory Coast by an oil tanker, the Probo Koala, in 2006, said to be one of the worst pollution disasters in recent history.
Trafigura used an independent contractor, which dumped the black sludge in and around Abidjan. Claimants said the toxic fumes from the waste made them sick.
A settlement, without admission of liability by the company, would avoid a lengthy, costly court action due to begin at the High Court in London next month, reports said.
Copyright 2009 by United Press International