AES settles Dominican Republic toxic waste dump case: Bloomberg
Santo Domingo.- The transnational power company AES Corp. hassettled a lawsuit accusing it of allowing one of its units to dump coal ash on DominicanRepublic shores, which allegedly caused a spate of birth defects in children, Bloombergreports.
“AES was slated to go to trial in state court in DelawareMonday over the birth-defect claims, but Kim Cephas, a court official, said thecase had settled. The terms of the accord weren’t available,” the outlet said.
According to Bloomberg, the families of three Dominicanchildren born without limbs, who suffered from gastrointestinal and otherdefects, sought about US$30 million in damages, noting that he case was thefirst of more than a half dozen set for trial in Delaware against AES.
“The Shares of Arlington, Virginia-based AES fell more than1. 4 percent on news of the settlement and closed at (US)$11.36, down more than1.8 percent, in New York Stock Exchange composite trading,” the report said.
It said the parents of Maximiliano Calcaño, IsaelAltagracia Andujar and Estanlyn Garcia Deogracia, the three Dominican children,sued AES, which is incorporated in Delaware, in 2009.
“The Dominican government alleged an AES unit illegallydumped more than 57,000 tons of the ash from its coal-fired plant in Guayama,Puerto Rico, onto the areas of Manzanillo and Samana Bay in the island’snorthern section.”
It adds that two other women sued AES claiming in-uteroexposure to the coal ash led to the early deaths of their children, who werealso born with birth defects, according to court filings. “The parents contendalleged AES officials misled them and Dominican officials into believing thecoal ash wasn’t toxic and “might be profitably utilized by the residents ofSamana as construction material,” according to the filings.”
The case is Pallano (Payano) v. AES Corp., N09C-11-021,Superior Court of Delaware (Wilmington).