Vietnamese fishermen descend on court to sue Taiwanese fish killer

By Duc Hung   September 27, 2016 | 01:18 am PT
Vietnamese fishermen descend on court to sue Taiwanese fish killer
Hundreds of people gather at the court in Ky Anh District, Ha Tinh Province to sue Formosa Ha Tinh Steel for compensation. Photo by VnExpress
Hundreds of fishermen demand the Taiwanese firm to cough up for the damage it has caused.

Hundreds of people from the central province of Nghe An journeyed 200km by bus to neighboring Ha Tinh on Monday to lodge lawsuits against the steel plant responsible for the mass fish deaths that hit a 200km stretch of the central coast in April, a local leader has said.

Vietnam's government has officially named Formosa Ha Tinh Steel, the Vietnam unit of Taiwanese conglomerate Formosa Plastics Group, as the culprit for the incident in Ha Tinh that resulted in one of the biggest environmental disasters in the country's history.

Formosa has already paid $500 million in compensation, the Vietnamese government reported last month, but public outcry continues to rage in the streets and on social media.

Hundreds of people traveled to the provincial court in Ha Tinh to file lawsuits against the Taiwanese company, a local leader of Ha Tinh's Ky Anh District told VnExpress Tuesday. Ky Anh People’s Court also confirmed that it has received over 500 files, with the majority demanding Formosa to pay damages.

It will take time for all the files to be processed, and each case will be trialed separately if the court rules so, said a lawyer.

The toxic pollution caused by Formosa has hit at least 200,000 people where it hurts the most: their pockets, the government said in a report to the National Assembly, Vietnam's legislature, in July.

The Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Development said that local authorities will receive compensation by early October to allocate to those affected by the disaster.

Related news:

> Agriculture Ministry puts forward post-Formosa fishing options

> Formosa's toxic disaster: are fish safe to eat now in central Vietnam?

> Vietnam province launches criminal probe into Formosa-related waste burial

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