In 2004, the Nigerian senate ordered Shell to pay 1.5 billion dollars in compensation to communities. Shell refused. In 2006 the high court upheld the ruling. Shell appealed and, like in several hundred smaller cases against the oil companies, no money is ever paid. The appeals process drags on for years. Many Nigerian lawyers argue that the oil companies are above the law in Nigeria.What lessons can we learn from this here in America? That big gas and oil will lie and shirk responsibility when something goes wrong? And that our legal system will help them avoid paying full compensatory damages?
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