Wiwa v Shell: $15.5 million settlement

The case has been settled out of court with $10 million going to the 10 plaintiffs and $5 million being gifted to the Ogoni people. Details of the settlement are here and here. Below is part of the statement from the lawyers in the case. I will be writing more on this in Pambazuka News later this week.

“The agreements reached today comprise one of a handful of successful settlements in corporate cases brought for human rights violations under the Alien Tort Statute, a 1789 statute that allows victims of human rights abuses from around the world to sue the perpetrators in U.S. courts. Since 1997, in Doe v. Unocal, the courts have made clear that multinational corporations can also be sued for human rights violations such as extrajudicial execution, torture and crimes against humanity, as charged in this case.

The settlement represents one more step towards holding corporations accountable for complicity in human rights violations, wherever they may be committed. We hope that this settlement provides another building block in the efforts to forge a legal system that holds violators accountable wherever they may be and prevents future violations. ”