NAM, Dutch state face legal action over earthquake stress

Seismograph instrument recording ground motion during earthquakeSome 120 people in Groningen are taking legal action against the Dutch state and gas extraction company NAM, claiming compensation for earthquake-related psychiatric and other problems.

Lawyer Pieter Huitema said his clients have suffered burn-outs, stress and anxiety because of the continuing earthquakes.

‘I have heard stories about young families who have been forced to leave their homes during a quake and others who dare not invite people to visit them,’ Huitema told news agency ANP. Twenty people are currently being treated by a doctor or psychiatrist, ANP reports.

The Dutch state has a duty to ensure people can live in peace, Huitema said.

Huitema is also preparing another case against NAM on behalf of up to 100,000 home owners who say their property has gone down in value because of the quake risk.

The quakes are being caused by the ground settling after the extraction of natural gas. Tens of thousands of homes have been earmarked for reinforcements because of the damage being caused to property.

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