Today, a New York federal appeals court found that Union Carbide Corp. (UCC) could not be sued for ongoing pollution of drinking water from the notorious chemical plant in Bhopal, India.
“We disagree with the Court’s interpretation of the evidence.” said Richard Herz, Senior Litigation Attorney for EarthRights International (ERI), which represents the plaintiffs. “The Court concluded that UCC is not responsible for the actions of its own employee, who oversaw the construction of the plant. Additionally, two leading experts concluded that UCC’s technology and waste disposal strategy for the plant was improper for the site, and caused the water pollution that we still see today.”
On December 2, 1984, poisonous gas from the Bhopal plant enveloped nearby communities, killing thousands. The water pollution here is unrelated to the Gas Disaster, but has been leaching from the same plant ever since it was shut down afterward.
Marco Simons, ERI’s General Counsel, added, “These families have been living with Union Carbide’s pollution for decades. This lawsuit is only one of the many efforts, in India and the United States, to obtain justice and a cleanup for the people of Bhopal, and we remain committed to that work.”
Plaintiffs plan to file a petition for rehearing.
The case, Sahu v. Union Carbide Corp., is No. 14-3087 in the Second Circuit. In addition to ERI, the plaintiffs are represented by Rajan Sharma of Sharma & DeYoung, the Law Offices of Curtis V. Trinko, and Hausfeld, LLP.