Colombia farmers sue BP over environmental damage
Colombia farmers sue BP over environmental damage

[JURIST] More than 100 Colombian farmers on Wednesday filed a lawsuit with the UK high court against British company Equion Energia [corporate website, in Spanish], previously known as BP Exploration Colombia (BPXC), for alleged negligence when it built the Ocensa oil pipeline. The farmers are seeking around USD $29 million in compensation [IBT report] for environmental damage caused by the pipeline, including severe soil erosion, reduced vegetation coverage and damaged water resources. The farmers’ lawyers said that the farmers did not understand the agreements they signed with BPXC and said that they were not provided full and fair compensation for environmental damage caused by the pipeline. The trial is BP’s first in Britain for its overseas business and is expected to last for four months.

Last month a federal district court in Louisiana ruled [JURIST report] that BP was grossly negligent and bears a majority of the blame for the 2010 Deepwater Horizon disaster [JURIST backgrounder]. In May BP asked [JURIST report] the US Supreme Court to stay a March ruling requiring the company to make massive settlement payments as a result of the Deepwater Horizon oil spill. Earlier in May BP announced it would appeal [JURIST report] the Fifth Circuit’s ruling [JURIST report] to the US Supreme Court after the Fifth Circuit voted 8-5 not to allow BP to appeal its case to the Fifth Circuit en banc. Also in May the Fifth Circuit issued a mandate [ERG law report] to the district court to lift the injunction in accordance with its December 2013 decision [JURIST report], which held BP could not require businesses to prove their economic losses were directly caused by the Deepwater Horizon spill under the terms of the settlement agreement.