The Courts as Environmental Champions: The Norwegian Hempel Cases
European Company Law vol. 13, no. 5, 2016
10 Pages Posted: 7 Dec 2016 Last revised: 2 May 2017
Date Written: December 5, 2016
This article presents the Hempel cases from the Norwegian courts, where a Danish parent company (Hempel AS) first was ordered to pay the costs for investigating the extent of pollution in ground previously owned by its Norwegian subsidiary, and then to pay the costs for cleaning up the pollution. The article argues that these decisions, although formally based on provisions in the Norwegian Pollution Control Act, de facto are innovative examples of case-law based liability, where society’s interest in environmental protection is prioritised over society’s and shareholders’ interest in protecting shareholders’ limited liability. Enhanced due diligence may be the result.
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