Brazil Seeks Order to Fund $ 500 Million Oil and

Aggressive government claiming continues to increase. One of the latest examples arises in a case in Brazil with a prior award of $ 500 million. Brazil seeks an order requiring funding of the verdict prior to exhaustion of all appeals. The Washington Post story is here, and excerpts are below:

"BRASILIA, Brazil — Brazilian prosecutors said Wednesday that they asked a court to force oil company Shell and the world’s largest chemical company, BASF, to immediately pay $500 million into a compensation fund for hundreds of workers who may have been contaminated at an agricultural chemicals plant.

The companies were earlier ordered to pay that amount by two courts. But the case revolving around a plant in the city of Paulinia, 75 miles (120 kilometers) northwest of Sao Paulo, was appealed and is now before a higher court in Brasilia.

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Almeida said prosecutors are now asking that Shell Brasil SA and BASF SA pay the $500 million into an account so that it can immediately be available once the higher court in Brasilia rules on the case.

In its 2011 annual report, BASF SE, the German partent of BASF SA, acknowledged that the site was “significantly contaminated by the production of crop protection products.”

BASF claims the site was contaminated before it bought plant. The company filed a lawsuit in Brazil last year asking a court to hold Shell fully responsible for any damages. BASF said it and Royal Dutch Shell PLC are in ongoing settlement talks about any payments.

The chemical plant operated from 1977 until it was closed in 2002. Shell originally owned it, but sold the operation to American Cyanamid in 1995. Germany-based BASF bought American Cyanamid in 2000 and took over the chemicals plant at Paulinia."

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About Kirk

Since becoming a lawyer in 1983, Kirk’s over 30 years of practice have focused on advising a wide range of corporations, associations, and individuals (as both plaintiffs and defendants) on both tort and commercial law issues centered around “mass torts.”

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