BASF said the ruling was “absurd,” as the contamination was “caused and acknowledged by Shell,” according to the report.
THE WALL STREET JOURNAL
AUGUST 21, 2010
A Brazilian court has fined the local units of Royal Dutch Shell PLC (RDSA, RDSA.LN) and BASF SE (BASFY, BAS.XE) a total of BRL1.1 billion ($654 million) in compensation and medical costs to workers who were harmed by contamination at an agricultural chemicals plant in Paulinia, Sao Paulo, the O Estado de Sao Paulo newspaper reported on Saturday.
Studies in the area around the Paulinia unit showed the presence of heavy metals in soil and subterranean water, according to Estado.
The Paulinia unit was built by Shell in the late 1970s and was sold to Cyanamid in 1992, according to the report. BASF later bought Cyanamid and shut the Paulinia plant down in 2002. The ruling covers former employees of all three companies.
BASF and Shell said they will appeal the decision, according to the report. BASF said the ruling was “absurd,” as the contamination was “caused and acknowledged by Shell,” according to the report. Shell said there was no “technical evidence” to suggest that there were any problems that could have harmed people’s health, the report said.
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