Oil Co. Liable In Tanker Disaster: French Ruling

Law360, New York (January 16, 2008, 12:00 AM EST) -- In a landmark decision, a French court on Wednesday ruled that oil company Total SA was responsible for the 1999 sinking of the Erika tanker, one of France's worst environmental disasters.

A French judge said that Total, along with the owner and manager of the tanker and RINA, an Italian ship classification firm, were liable to the 101 plaintiffs in the case – environmental groups, fishermen, local associations and hotel owners.

The four parties, consisting of 15 defendants, were told to pay damages totaling €192 million...
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