A Dutch appeals court ruled that Royal Dutch Shell may be held liable for 2008 oil spills at its subsidiary in Nigeria, potentially opening the way for other compensation claims against multinationals in the Niger Delta, Reuters reported.
Four Nigerian farmers and a campaign group, Friends of the Earth filed suit in 2008 against the oil company in the Netherlands requiring Shell to clean up oil spills in four villages in the Niger Delta and pay compensation.
The court ordered the oil giant to hand over company documents relating to the 2008 oil spill, according to TeleSur.
This latest ruling –done in a five minute hearing at The Hague– overturns a 2013 decision by a lower Dutch court, which found that Shell could not be found responsible for spills at its subsidiary.
Shell has blamed the leakages on sabotage, which under the Nigerian law would mean that it did not have to pay compensation. However, the Dutch court rejected assumptions about sabotage, BBC reported.