LONDON: The Bhopal Action Group is looking for a New York-based PR firm to help in its renewed fight for victims of the 1985 environmental catastrophe at a Union Carbide plant in India.
LONDON: The Bhopal Action Group is looking for a New York-based PR
firm to help in its renewed fight for victims of the 1985 environmental
catastrophe at a Union Carbide plant in India.
The new push comes after Goodkind Labaton Rudoff & Sucharow, a US law
firm, identified a provision in US tort law that allows a US company to
be sued for actions committed abroad if they constitute a violation of
human rights. A federal class action suit was filed in US district court
against Union Carbide and former chairman Warren Anderson in November
1999 by Kenneth McCallion, a New York attorney for the victims.
Union Carbide paid dollars 470 million in a 1989 settlement after at
least 3,000 people died and 20,000 were left sick. At the time, the
settlement was criticized as woefully inadequate, as only a fraction of
those who sued for damages are understood to have received
The Bhopal Action Group is looking for PR counsel to fight the might of
Union Carbide and its army of lawyers and PR experts. ’It’s a David and
Goliath story,’ said Indra Sinha, one of the founders of the Bhopal
Medical Appeal. ’We’re playing in the big leagues.’
The group was in New York last week to attend the opening of Bhopal
Express, a new movie set in Bhopal at the time of the disaster. The
movie is described as an ’Indian Titanic’ - a love story set amidst the
tragedy of the 1985 chemical spill.
Representatives are said to be talking to a number of crisis experts,
including Rubenstein Associates president Howard Rubenstein, whose
Indian clients include the billionaire Khemka Family. Rubenstein also
represented the late Indian Prime Minister, Rajiv Ghandi.
Another contender is John Scanlon, the crisis expert who provided PR
counsel for a Sudanese pharmaceutical factory owner whose plant was
bombed by the US government in 1998 in response to embassy attacks.