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Carbide's Toxic Evasion.

Nearly 15 years and 6,000 fatalities later, survivors and relatives of victims of the poison gas which leaked out of Union Carbide Corporation's pesticide plant in Bhopal, India, have filed suit in Manhattan federal court, charging the company with "depraved indifference to human life," and naming former Carbide Chair Warren Anderson, now retired and living in Florida, as a defendant.

The petition filed this November asks the federal court to revisit the case against Carbide. The case was moved from New York to India in 1986 for jurisdictional reasons. The Indian government's civil case against Carbide was settled in 1989 for $470 million.

The new suit seeks to have the defendants held liable for violations of international law, as well as civil contempt and fraud for failing to comply with orders from courts in both countries. Union Carbide and Anderson allegedly violated an agreement to submit to the jurisdiction of Indian courts by failing to appear in Indian court on criminal matters.

Union Carbide said in a statement that "all personal injury and related claims were settled in 1989" when the company and its Indian subsidiary settled the civil case.

A coalition of environmental, health and human rights groups released "Beyond the Chemical Century: Restoring Human Rights and Preserving the Fabric of Life" in early December to mark the fifteenth anniversary of what they describe as "the worst industrial chemical disaster in history."

"The Bhopal disaster is just part of a much larger pattern of ongoing human rights abuses committed by the chemical industry," says attorney Sanford Lewis, the report's primary author.
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Author:Cray, Charlie
Publication:Multinational Monitor
Article Type:Brief Article
Geographic Code:1USA
Date:Dec 1, 1999
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