How Did Shell Get Off the Hook for These Spills?

A court case that rejected the claims of several Nigerian farmers over Royal Dutch Shell (NYSE:RDS.A) oil spills that affected their land could set precedent for how affected parties are able to challenge multinational companies in court.

Early last year, a group of Nigerian farmers and fishermen from the Niger Delta area went to the Netherlands to take on Royal Dutch Shell over oil spills that had damaged their lands and livelihoods. The group of plaintiffs made five claims against Royal Dutch Shell.

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If the courts had accepted the plaintiff group’s claims against Shell, the case could have had a far-reaching impact on the way multinationals are held accountable for incidents around the globe. Environmental groups had hoped the plaintiffs would have success and make it possible for similar claims to go through…

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