Trafigura settles another Probo Koala claim

Amsterdam-based oil trader Trafigura is to pay a maximum €33m in damages to 31,000 people from Ivory Coast who claim they were made ill by toxic waste which came from the ship Probo Koala in 2006.

The Ivory Coast claimants’ London-based lawyers agreed to the out-of-court settlement at the weekend, saying Trafigura could not be held legally responsible for the health problems.
In 2007, Trafigura agreed to pay €152m to the Ivory Coast government to settle its claim and pay for the clean-up.
The claim is not connected to a second case which will be heard in Amsterdam later this year. That case focuses on the illegal export of the waste from Amsterdam to the African country. The Probo Koala docked in the capital for a time in 2006 but Trafigura decided not to process the waste in the Netherlands because of the cost.
That case will be heard on October 28.
The trial involves Trafigura staff, city council officials and Amsterdam-based waste processor APS. Pressure is also mounting for the head of Trafigura Claude Dauphin to face charges. Internal company emails emerged last week which allegedly show he knew of the existence of the toxic waste before it was dumped.

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