US court absolves Union Carbide pollution liability in Bhopal

US court absolves Union Carbide of pollution liability in Bhopal

7:52 AM, 29th June 2012
US court absolves Union Carbide of pollution liability in Bhopal
US court in Manhattan. (C)123RF file photos

NEW YORK, US: In a setback to 1984 Bhopal gas tragedy victims, a US court has held that neither Union Carbide nor its former chairman Warren Anderson was liable for environmental remediation or pollution-related claims at the firm’s former chemical plant in Bhopal.

US District Judge, John Keena in Manhattan dismissed a lawsuit accusing the company of causing soil and water pollution around the Bhopal plant due to the disaster and ruled that Union Carbide Corporation (UCC) and Anderson were not liable for remediation or pollution-related claims.

The court ruled that it was Union Carbide India Ltd, and not its parent company UCC, that was responsible for the generation and disposal of the waste that polluted drinking water, and the liability rests with the state government.

Citing a 1998 court verdict in a case involving KFC, the court said that legally the mere assertion that a corporate parent is or was involved in the decision-making process of its subsidiary, or that it controlled the legitimate policies of its subsidiary, will not shift liabilities among distinct corporate entities.

(C) PTI

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