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People's Daily Online>>China Society

Suit claims oil spill harmed fishermen

By Wang Qian (China Daily)

08:34, November 22, 2011

BEIJING - A lawyer representing 30 Shandong province fishermen feels confident about his chances of succeeding in a lawsuit he recently filed against companies he believes are responsible for the ongoing oil leak in Bohai Bay.

Jia Fangyi, a lawyer at the Beijing-based Great Wall Law Firm, is asking for the parties that are found responsible for the leak to pay 30 million yuan ($4.7 million) in compensation for the economic damage they caused.

His clients calculate that amount will be enough to make up for the loss of their early investments - estimated to be worth 7 million yuan - and their average yearly profits of about 13 million yuan to 14 million yuan.

Jia said the 30 fishermen only constitute a small number of the people who have been harmed by the disaster and that more than 700 are awaiting compensation.

The oil spill originated in Penglai 19-3, the country's largest offshore oilfield, which was developed by the China National Offshore Oil Corp (CNOOC) and is now operated by the US-based ConocoPhillips. Jia said the law places the onus on those companies to disprove certain claims that his lawsuit makes against them.

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