Back in October 2009, there was a stir when Trafigura and their lawyers Carter-Ruck tried to quell discussion and reports about the allegations over the oil company’s involvement in the dumping of loads of toxic waste in the Ivory Coast.
Of course, their ‘super-injunction’ backfired with a Streisand Effect (the act of trying to cover something up leading to it being more widely known).
Nine months later, and finally Trafigura have been found legally liable, after a Dutch court fined them €1m (£840,000) for exporting the waste from Amsterdam. A company employee and the captain of the Probo Koala were also found guilty and fined for their part.
Trafigura will, of course, seek an appeal. But until then, and if it fails, there’s no way that they can try to sue any one for libel if they say that Trafigura illegally sent noxious chemicals to Africa to be dumped, which led to tens of thousands of people falling ill. Hopefully, this will open the door to better compensation, and at the very least make it harder for international companies to so casually exploit the third world.