Landfill sues HCMC woman for posts about stench

By Hai Duyen   July 12, 2023 | 04:52 pm PT
Landfill sues HCMC woman for posts about stench
Aerial view of the Da Phuoc landfill managed by Vietnam Waste Solutions company in HCMC. Photo by VnExpress/Hieu Nguyen
A woman in HCMC has been sued by a waste management company for complaining about the stench of one of its landfills on Facebook.

The Vietnam Waste Solutions (VWS) company, legally represented by Duong David Trung, is suing 47-year-old Nguyen Hong Thu for "damages to one's honor and reputation." The case went to trial at the Nha Be District People’s Court on Wednesday.

VWS, based in Binh Chanh District, was established in 2005 and is responsible for the construction, design and operation of the Da Phuoc waste treatment complex.

The firm accused Thu of using her Facebook account to create a group called "The truth about the stench in Phu My Hung" back in 2016, where she posted contents saying the cause of the stench was due to VWS.

However, the company said what Thu wrote was fabricated and untrue, and contained language that insulted the honor and reputation of Duong David Trung and the firm.

VWS asked the court to force Thu to cease her insulting behaviors, remove contents on her personal Facebook account and Facebook group, publicly apologize on her pages and compensate the company VND500 million ($21,121) in damages.

Thu said she had been living in the southern HCMC area for many years, and locals have been suffering from the stench of the Da Phuoc landfill for many years as well. What she wrote on Facebook was true, she said.

"The contents of the posts were about the stench and were cited from newspaper articles and official documents. VWS said I fabricated them, but could not prove where exactly the fabrication is," she added.

Lawyer Nguyen Quoc, who represents Thu, said he had requested the court to summon Duong David Trung to the trial as VWS did mention Duong's rights being violated as an individual. But the lawyer representing VWS said there was no need to summon him, as most of what is affected is the company’s interests.

The court said the trial would be temporarily suspended so more people could be summoned. The trial is expected to resume on July 19.

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