Marcelo Rochabrun, Bloomberg News
EnergiesNet.com 01 16 2024
Repsol SA is being sued for $1 billion by an English law firm representing around 35,000 alleged victims for its involvement in Peru’s largest oil spill in 2022.
Tom Goodhead, chief executive officer of Pogust Goodhead, said the lawsuit was filed last week in The Hague, where a company owning Repsol’s Peru’s subsidiary is registered. The lawsuit is tied to the 2022 spill in which 10,000 barrels of oil were spilled into the Pacific Ocean as oil was being discharged onto the La Pampilla refinery, owned by Repsol.
The Peruvian government has labeled the incident as the worst ecological disaster in its history and has criticized Repsol for not paying most of the fines fines imposed as a result. Repsol said it has appealed the fines and will pay them if its claims are dismissed. The spill had significant impact on fishing communities near La Pampilla, who have yet to be allowed to resume their activities.
Repsol said in a statement it was aware of the Dutch lawsuit, but dismissed it as “meritless.” It said Repsol has spent over $270 million repairing damage caused by the spill, including in paying compensation to those affected. That’s much less than what Pogust Goodhead hopes to reap.
The suit is the first filed by Pogust Goodhead since it got a $552 million investment from Connecticut-based Gramercy Funds Management, but it has specialized in international class actions for years. It is scheduled to go to trial this year against BHP, claiming a £36 billion ($45.8 billion) over a dam collapse in Brazil that left hundreds dead.
London-based Goodhead said it had signed on some 35,000 people onto the class action, mostly during the last few months of 2023. He traveled to Lima as part of the effort and said people impacted by the spill feel “absolute fury and anger” about what happened.
“There’s a feeling that unless they took the lawsuit in the Dutch courts that they really wouldn’t see justice,” he said.
bloomberg.com 01 15 2024