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$90 MILLION SETTLEMENT OF CLASS ACTION BROUGHT BY SHELL AMERICAN EMPLOYEES

ShellNews.net: FULL DETAILS OF ROYAL DUTCH SHELL PROPOSED $90 MILLION SETTLEMENT OF CLASS ACTION LAWSUIT BROUGHT BY SHELL AMERICAN EMPLOYEES

SUNDAY 14 AUGUST 2005

By John Donovan

Shell has agreed to pay $90m to settle a lawsuit initiated by its US employees last year following the reserves scandal which has been described on the BBC TV Money Programme as the biggest investor fraud in history. Around $25m is covered by insurance policies. Shell has also agreed to pay up to $1m of expenses for the plaintiffs’ counsel, New York-based Milberg Weiss. Shell claims that the proposed agreement is an “important step” towards putting scandal related litigation behind it.

The US class action was filed by former and current US employees of Shell who participated in particular savings plans. They claimed that the value of their pension benefits had been adversely affected by a drop in the share price, which fell up to 15pc in the two months following the restatements in January 2004.

The 16 page court document issued by United States District Chief Judge John Bissell (who has also recently given consent for a separate class action lawsuit brought against Royal Dutch Shell, its auditors and named current and former Shell executives, including Jeroen van der Veer) is accessible via this link: Read the “Notice of Proposed Class Action Settlement

It is a strikingly different outcome compared with the court actions brought by various Shell employee groups in Malaysia, including a group of 399 – a case which Shell is dragging out for highly questionable reasons – see the astonishing news reports below. In another case in Malaysia, 58 ex-Shell employees had sued Shell in the High Court seeking reinstatement after they were made redundant under the pretext of “Organisational Review”. Nine long years have elapsed and the case is still unresolved. Why is Shell taking such a ruthless approach towards its Malaysian employees (including a draconian defamation action by EIGHT Royal Dutch Shell companies against a Shell geologist reserves whistleblower Dr John Huong) compared with their American counter-parts? Why are Shell’s Malaysian employees being treated with such blatant contempt?

Dr Huong is suing Shell in Malaysia for wrongful dismissal. He has been threatened with imprisonment by Shell for articles published on this website under his name which criticised Shell management misdeeds which were in breach of Shell’s own ethical code. In short Dr Huong had a conscience and put into writing his objection to Shell shareholders being deceived about Shell’s hydrocarbon reserves. Imprisonment seems to be an increasingly popular weapon for Shell to steamroller any opposition. It currently has five Irishmen imprisoned in Ireland – the “Rossport Five” – for daring to stand up for their principles. The only thing which can be said is that imprisonment is preferable to hanging, which was the terrible fate of Ogoni leaders, including the Nobel Laureate, Ken Saro-Wiwa, who peacefully opposed Shell’s exploitation and despoliation of Ogoniland.

royaldutchshellplc.com and its sister websites royaldutchshellgroup.com, shellenergy.website, shellnazihistory.com, royaldutchshell.website, johndonovan.website, shellnews.net and shell2004.com are all owned by John Donovan. There is also a Wikipedia article.

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