LAGOS, Nigeria — Lawyers say thousands of Nigerian fishermen have rejected an offer of $50 million from Royal Dutch Shell for “some of the largest oil spills in history.”
The offer comes as a British court today ruled the oil company can be legally liable for oil thefts if it fails to protect its pipeline infrastructure. Until now, Shell has paid compensation only for spills caused by equipment failure.
Some $35 million worth of oil is stolen daily in Nigeria.
Shell countered the judgment was favorable in limiting litigation to “an assessment of actual damages sustained” in spills, and said the judge ruled the company’s arguments “correct in all the crucial points.”
Leigh Day lawyers for 15,000 fishermen who lost their livelihoods in oil spills in 2008 and 2009 called Shell’s offer laughable.