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Cote d: Deal Made to Compensate Toxic Waste Victims

(Feb. 19, 2010) Victims of toxic waste poisoning in the Cote d’Ivoire have reached an agreement with the Dutch company Trafigura; the deal concerns distribution of approximately US$45 million in compensation to 31,000 victims. A court order issued in 2009, following a dispute over the distribution procedure, had halted plans to make the payments. The firm representing Trafigura, Leigh Day and Company, will assist with the distribution of the funds, which come to about $1,560 per victim, beginning in March 2010. (Toxic Waste Victims Reach Compensation Deal with Dutch Firm, AFP, Feb. 18, 2010, World News Connection subscription database, No. 201002181477.1_c20f00499d72618c.)

The poisoning occurred due to an August 2006 dump of toxic material from a ship chartered by Trafigura near the city of Abidjan in the Cote d’Ivoire. There were 17 deaths and thousands received medical treatment. An earlier attempt had been made to unload the waste in Amsterdam. In 2007, the company reached a settlement with the Ivorian government, agreeing to pay damages in lieu of being subject to a court proceeding. About one-fourth of the payment will go directly to the victims.(Id.)