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Atwater Wins Toxic Water Case Against Royal Dutch Shell Arm

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Recently, the city of Atwater received a favorable ruling from the Merced County Superior Court regarding groundwater contamination against Shell Oil Company, an affiliate to Royal Dutch Shell .

Following a four-month trial, the Merced court finally awarded Atwater $63 million against water damages. The lawsuit charged Shell $53 million for compensatory damages and $10 million for punitive damages.

The litigation was slapped due to the presence of highly toxic chemical 1,2,3- Trichloropropane (TCP) in the Shell-marketed nematocide.

In 2018, the state authorities of California restricted the pollutant level in public drinking water to 5-parts-per-trillion. Realizing that the contamination exceeded the maximum level, the city filed a court case against the Houston-based subsidiary.

According to Atwater, Shell continuously retailed TCP-containing nematocide in the Central Valley without divulging its TCP content. Shell’s sale of nematocide was widely used by Atwater for killing worms mostly across the agricultural terrains inducing pollution and contamination of groundwater in the process.

The money awarded to the city against the lawsuit will be utilized for disinfecting and purifying the water of Atwater.

Apart from Atwater, cities like Livingston, Visalia and Clovis faced similar difficulties of drinking water contamination. Two years back, Clovis won a lawsuit against Shell over the presence of the same toxic-TCP in the water.

Zacks Rank & Key Picks

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