Plaintiffs in the case brought against the Union Carbide Corporation (UCC) for the 1984 poison gas disaster in Bhopal, Madhya Pradesh, this week released new evidence that was said to demonstrate the company’s “direct role in designing and building the pesticide plant” in question.
According to reports this new evidence was comprised of statements by former UCC and Union Carbide India Limited (UCIL) employees and evaluations by experts in waste disposal systems, all of which were said to establish that UCC “provided critical design for the plant and its waste management system and that this design caused the ongoing toxic waste problem in Bhopal.”
The Bhopal gas tragedy, considered India’s worst industrial disaster, occurred on December 2 1984 at the UCIL pesticide plant and in its wake, many thousands of people were injured from exposure to methyl isocyanate gas and other chemicals and several thousands were killed.
This week in the Southern District Court of New York, plaintiffs’ evidence reportedly also showed that it was “a Union Carbide employee that oversaw and approved construction and design implementing Union Carbide’s plan for the Bhopal plant.”
Evidence was submitted to the court in January in Sahu II v. UCC, a federal class-action lawsuit filed by residents of Bhopal whose land and water remain contaminated by waste from the chemical plant.
Although The Hindu reached out to UCC and its parent company, Dow Chemicals, for a response, no comments were received at the time this report went to print.
Rick Herz, counsel for the plaintiffs, said, “This evidence demonstrates that Union Carbide was intimately involved in every aspect of designing and building the Bhopal plant, including the waste disposal systems.”
Co-counsel Rajan Sharma, of the New York law firm Sharma & Deyoung, added, “These families have been living with Union Carbide pollution for decades and they deserve justice. Union Carbide refuses to submit to the jurisdiction of India’s courts and asserts that American courts may not grant relief without the participation of the Indian government.”
The plaintiffs have also reportedly sued the state government of Madhya Pradesh, “which now owns the Bhopal site, to compel its cooperation in the clean-up of the contamination.”