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Posts under ‘Litigation’

John Donovan, Shell’s nightmare: Genesis

Extracts from the ebook “John Donovan, Shell’s Nightmare” (now available on Amazon websites globally)

In 1979, our company, Don Marketing supplied promotional games that were used to promote petrol sales on the forecourts of most petrol brands in the UK, including Shell.

In 1981, we moved into a contractual relationship with Shell as a result of a presentation I made at Shell-Mex House in The Strand, the then London HQ of Shell UK Limited.

I put forward a proposal for Shell to launch a legal version of a promotional game called Make Money that Shell had abandoned in the 1960‘s out of concern that it was in breach of UK lottery laws. read more

Oil waste eating away plumbing in contaminated Carousel tract neighborhood, study says

This issue with sewer pipes is the latest development in a decade-long saga for Carousel tract residents. Developers of the 285-home community, which borders Wilmington, secretly buried remains of a former Shell Oil tank farm a few feet beneath the homes in the 1960s. The burial was kept secret until routine testing discovered soil pollution in 2008.

Years of state-led environmental investigations into massive oil contamination at Carson’s Carousel tract neighborhood missed a key problem for residents living amid the mess: the sewer pipes under some homes are literally corroded into dust.

Beyond the high cost of replacing sewer lines, the oil-degraded pipelines could present yet another major health concern for residents across the 50-acre community, a new city-commissioned study has found. read more

Shell defamatory posters, leaflets and press releases attacking Donovan

By John Donovan

My families falling out with Shell took place over two decades ago.

Some indication of the degree of acrimony can be gauged from the content of posters Shell put on public display on 23 September 1998 at the Shell Centre in London, specifically targeting my father and me. I have never heard of a multinational corporation doing anything like this before or since.

This is what the posters said:

YOU MAY BE HANDED A LEAFLET OUTSIDE SHELL CENTRE BY MR ALFRED DONOVAN, FORMALLY OF A COMPANY CALLED DON MARKETING UK LIMITED.  YOU SHOULD BE AWARE THAT JOHN DONOVAN, A DIRECTOR OF DON MARKETING UK LIMITED, MR ALFRED DONOVAN’S SON, HAS ISSUED A WRIT AGAINST SHELL UK CLAIMING THAT HIS COMPANY INVENTED THE SMART LOYALTY CARD PROGRAMME.  MR DONOVAN’S ALLEGATIONS HAVE BEEN VERY CAREFULLY INVESTIGATED BY SHELL UK AND DISCUSSED IN DETAIL WITH MR DONOVAN AND HIS SOLICITORS. THE CLAIM IS BEING VIGOROUSLY DEFENDED.  AS SOME OF YOU MAY KNOW, MR DONOVAN HAS MADE SOME OFFENSIVE STATEMENTS ABOUT SHELL UK COLLEAGUES. WE REJECT SUCH ALLEGATIONS ABSOLUTELY AND ARE WHOLLY CONFIDENT THAT OUR COLLEAGUES HAVE ACTED IN THIS MATTER AT ALL TIMES IN GOOD FAITH AND IN LINE WITH OUR LONG STANDING BUSINESS PRINCIPLES. read more

Kiobel v Shell lawyers hearing 12 Sept 2017

Andrew Denney, New York Law Journal: September 12, 2017

Forcing Cravath, Swaine & Moore to hand over documents related to litigation against Royal Dutch Shell to a plaintiff seeking redress in Dutch courts would give rise to “discovery litigation tourism,” an attorney for the firm said Tuesday in arguments before a federal appeals court.

Esther Kiobel, who was unsuccessful in her effort to hold Shell liable in American courts for the 1995 execution death of her husband and eight others under the Alien Tort Statute, has taken her fight to the courts in the Netherlands. read more

Lawsuit: Shell Knew Climate Risks in Providence and Ignored Them

By Karen Savage: September 12, 2017

The oil giant Shell has known for decades about the dangers of not protecting its facilities—and in turn its neighbors and the environment—from the growing risks associated with climate change, alleges a lawsuit filed by the Conservative Law Foundation, a Boston-based environmental law and advocacy group that operates across New England. And one piece of evidence comes from Shell itself, which produced a 30-minute video in 1991 that includes ominous predictions and a dire warning. FULL ARTICLE read more

SHELL STILL TRYING TO GET AWAY WITH MURDER – LITERALLY

Thurgood Marshall U.S. Courthouse, New York, New York

An important decision day for Esther Kiobel in the above U.S. Courthouse tomorrow, Tuesday 12 Sept 2017 in her epic attempt to bring Shell to Justice for complicity in the murder of her husband Dr. Barinem Kiobel, one of the  Ogoni Nine. She is seeking more than 100,000 Shell discovery documents stored in a secure US warehouse. 

“Who doesn’t love a good discovery fight? And this one involving Cravath, Swaine & Moore is a doozy, with ramifications that extend literally across the planet.”

By John Donovan

The text shown in red is an extract from an article by Jenna Greene from The Litigation Daily published in the US yesterday under the headline “Cravath in the Crosshairs”.

Cravath, Swaine & Moore are Shell’s lawyers. In 2013 they managed to torpedo on jurisdiction grounds a 2002 US lawsuit against Shell led by Esther Kiobel. After over a decade of litigation to stop the case from being heard, Cravath won a US Supreme Court decision in 2013 on that important point of law, without her charges against Shell  ever being considered. read more

Shell and Dow Hid Cancer-Causing ‘Garbage’ in Pesticide, Contaminating Drinking Water for Millions in California

Contact: Monica Amarelo (202) 939-9140: [email protected] FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE: TUESDAY, APRIL 11, 2017

SAN FRANCISCO – For decades, Shell and Dow hid a highly potent cancer-causing chemical in two widely used pesticides, contaminating drinking water for millions of people in California and beyond, according to lawsuits detailed in a new report from EWG.

The chemical 1,2,3-trichloropropane, or TCP, was formerly an unwanted and ineffective byproduct in Dow’s Telone and Shell’s D-D pesticides. Internal documents uncovered in lawsuits filed by communities in California’s San Joaquin Valley show that the companies saved millions of dollars a year by not properly disposing of TCP, a chemical a Dow scientist once called  “garbage,” as hazardous waste. FULL ARTICLE read more

Shell rejigs in-house team and names new UK head of legal

Alex Berry: @AlexOnLegalWeek: 04 September 2017

Shell has overhauled its UK legal team, appointing Sarah Morton as its new UK head of legal, replacing Michael Coates in the role. Morton, who is also now associate GC for Shell’s downstream northwest Europe business, takes up her new role after nearly six years as Shell’s managing counsel for global litigation for Europe, Middle East & North Africa. In this role she built and managed a team of lawyers, recruiting from both inside and outside of Shell. Coates has taken up a new position as associate general counsel for Shell’s global upstream business after four years as UK head of legal. READ MORE read more

Shell Withholds 100,000 Documents Critical To Ogoni Nine Case

BY PUNCH NEWSPAPERSEP 08, 2017

The oil giant, Shell, is refusing to hand over more than 100,000 internal documents on the arrest, detention, and execution of nine Ogoni men in the 1990s, Amnesty International has said. The execution of the “Ogoni Nine”,  including the renowned writer Ken Saro-Wiwa, by the government in 1995 sparked global outrage. Others executed along with Saro-Wiwa were Saturday Dobee, Nordu Eawo, Daniel Gbooko, Paul Levera, Felix Nuate, Baribor Bera, Barinem Kiobel, and John Kpuine. In a statement on Friday, a Senior Director of Research at Amnesty International, Audrey Gaughran, said Shell has gone to extraordinary lengths to withhold information vital to the case. He alleged that the oil giant may have “skeletons in its cupboard” and should not be allowed to hide behind expensive legal teams to avoid facing justice. “Shell has gone to extraordinary lengths to withhold this critical information. Because the documents in question are so old, it is highly unlikely that there are legitimate business reasons for keeping them confidential. So what does Shell have to hide?” FULL ARTICLE read more

Ogoni Nine: Shell’s lawyers refusing to hand over “critical” evidence – Amnesty International

The widows of four of the men, led by Esther Kiobel, are the plaintiffs in the case which was first filed in 2001 in the U.S. The U.S. Supreme Court in 2013, without hearing the substance of the case, had ruled that the U.S. did not have jurisdiction. The widows filed the lawsuit in the Netherlands on June 28. An international human rights NGO, Amnesty International, said in a statement Friday that the U.S. law firm, Cravath, Swaine & Moore, has refused to hand over more than 100,000 internal documents considered crucial to the case. The Amnesty International directly accused Shell of trying to prevent the release of vital information. FULL ARTICLE read more

USA: Shell’s law firm refuses to hand over evidence critical for Ogoni Nine case

8 September 2017, 10:55 UTC

Shell’s US law firm is refusing to hand over more than 100,000 internal documents crucial to a legal case in the Netherlands which is alleging the oil giant’s complicity in the unlawful arrest, detention and execution of nine men in Nigeria in the 1990s, Amnesty International said ahead of a US Court of Appeals hearing next week.

The execution of the “Ogoni Nine”, including the renowned writer Ken Saro-Wiwa, by the Nigerian state in 1995 sparked global outrage. It was the culmination of a brutal campaign by Nigeria’s military government to silence protests in the oil-producing Niger Delta region. read more

End to Shell’s involvement in the most controversial infrastructure project in Ireland’s history

Protest event in Ireland during “Shell to Sea” campaign

Joe Brennan: 4 Sept 2017: Extracts from article: “Vayu warns of volatile prices for winter gas”

Ireland imports much of its gas needs through the UK, even though the Corrib field off the Mayo coast, which started production in late 2015, has the potential to meet up to 60 per cent of the country’s gas needs and is expected to supply fuel for up to 20 years. Discovered 21 years ago, the field was dogged by years of opposition before natural gas started flowing almost two years ago. FULL ARTICLE read more

Oil giant Shell fined over North Sea diesel leak

Yesterday Shell UK bosses returned to the court after approximately 13 to 15 tonnes of diesel spilled into the North Sea despite warnings over the transfer system going back over a decade.

Senior management from the Royal Dutch Shell subsidiary appeared in the public benches at Aberdeen Sheriff Court where the company pleaded guilty to an unlicensed release of fuel. FULL ARTICLE

Will Oprah Winfrey portray Esther Kiobel in a movie about her epic battle with Shell? 

If Esther does eventually win her case, it will make the Erin Brockovich story look a tea party by comparison.

By John Donovan

The above headline may be premature but it really could be just a matter of time.

Last Thursday, 31 August, an application was filed with the United States Court of Appeals for the Second Circuit to film an appeal hearing made by Shell’s US lawyers Cravath, Swaine & Moore opposing an order made by a federal judge in favour of Esther Kiobel.

The application was made by Freke Vuijst a US correspondent of Dutch media and also covers her cameraman Martijn Hart. The applicant reveals that she is currently involved in the making of a film documentary about the case. The application says: “The above mentioned case is of direct interest to the Dutch public, since Esther Kiobel filed a case in the Netherlands.” read more

Lawsuit accuses Shell of discharging pollutants in Providence River

The Conservation Law Foundation also alleges that the multinational corporation headquartered in the Netherlands — the second-largest oil and gas company in the world — has failed to take adequate steps to protect the facility from rising waters caused by climate change and a projected increase in the frequency of coastal storms and rain events. FULL ARTICLE

Another North Sea Storm for Shell

UPDATED WITH ARTICLE COMMENTS RECEIVED SINCE PUBLICATION, INCLUDING FROM BILL CAMPBELL

By John Donovan

It is getting on to 20 years since Shell safety expert Bill Campbell led an HSE audit team which exposed a “Touch Fuck All” culture in relation to maintenance and safety issues on Shell’s Brent Bravo platform. After two decades of promises by Shell to give safety the highest priority, Shell has just been ordered to shut down its North Sea Armada platform on similar grounds. This follows weeks after the issuance of a prohibition notice by HSE inspectors in relation to Brent Charlie. (See links below).  read more

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