(issued on behalf of all parties to the Trafigura Personal Injury Group Litigation)
• The parties have since August 2006 expended considerable time and money investigating in detail the events in Abidjan in 2006. As part of that process, in excess of 20 independent experts in shipping, chemistry, modelling, toxicology, tropical medicine, veterinary science and psychiatry have been appointed to consider all the issues relating to those events.
• These independent experts are unable to identify a link between exposure to the chemicals released from the slops and deaths, miscarriages, still births, birth defects, loss of visual acuity or other serious and chronic injuries. Leigh Day and Co, in the light of expert evidence, now acknowledge that the slops could at worst have caused a range of short term low level flu like symptoms and anxiety.
• From these investigations, it is also clear that there are many claims which have been made for symptoms, in some cases perhaps understandably, which are unconnected with any exposure to the slops.
• In the light of the expert evidence, Leigh Day & Co withdraws the comments made on its website on 8 November 2006 and subsequently, which alleged, among other things, that the slops had caused a number of deaths and miscarriages. Trafigura and Leigh Day & Co have accordingly resolved the libel proceedings brought by Trafigura.
• Leigh Day & Co deny that any of their clients have made any deliberately false claims. In the light of assurances given to their senior leading counsel and in view of his advice, Leigh Day withdraw any allegation that there has been impropriety on the part of Trafigura or any of its legal advisors, (including Macfarlanes) in investigating their claims.
• Leigh Day & Co acknowledge the substantial assistance that Trafigura provided to the Government and people of the Cote d'Ivoire, including the provision of medical supplies and payments for de-contamination of dumpsites and the establishment of a compensation fund.
• It remains Trafigura's position that it did not foresee, and could not have foreseen, the reprehensible acts of Compagnie Tommy in dumping the slops in and around Abidjan in August and September 2006, and that Compagnie Tommy acted entirely independently of, and without any authority from, Trafigura. Nevertheless, Trafigura regrets that this incident occurred and is pleased that the matter has now been resolved.