New York: An American court has dismissed all claims by Indian plaintiffs against Union Carbide ruling that neither Union Carbide nor the then chairman Warren Anderson was responsible for any environmental fallout, which was a result of a gas leak in Bhopal in December 1984 that killed thousands of people.
The court ruled that Union Carbide is not liable for any claims made by plaintiffs Janki Bai Sahu and others. The court, also dismissed all claims made against Anderson.
US District Judge John Keena said Union Carbide Corporation (UCC) was not responsible for causing soil and water pollution in Bhopal as it was Union Carbide India Ltd., that owned the plant and not the parent company UCC. He also added that since Union Carbide sold its stake in the India unit, it's not liable for the clean-up.
"The summary judgment record certainly indicates that UCIL consulted with UCC about its waste disposal plans and on non-environmental business matter like its strategic plan. However, nothing in the evidence suggests the necessity of UCC's approval for the actions about which plaintiffs complain," the court said.
"Moreover, there is no evidence in this extensive record indicating that UCIL manufactured pesticides on UCC's behalf, entered into contracts or other business dealings on UCC's behalf, or otherwise acted in UCC's name," the court further added.
The plaintiffs alleged that toxic waste from the leak is polluting the soil and drinking water in residential colonies surrounding the Union Carbide plant.
The Bhopal gas tragedy is one of worst industrial disaster in the world that killed more that 5,000 people and many suffered permanent disability, which was a result of methyl isocyanate leak from the plant.