A SPANISH court has ordered a British insurance firm to cough up part of €1.8 billion in damages to the Spanish government.
The A Coruña court ruled that The London P&I Club must pay €1 billion towards the damages brought on by the 2002 Prestige tanker oil spill, one of Europe’s worst environmental disasters.
The captain of the ship must also pay towards the costs, which include €61 million in damages to France, which was also affected.
The rest must be paid by ship owner Mare Shipping Inc. and the International Oil Pollution Compensation Funds, a grouping of two inter-governmental organisations that provide compensation for environmental damage resulting from spills.
The Prestige tanker ran into trouble in rough seas in November 2002.
Within a few days it broke in two and sank off the coast of Galicia, spilling 63,000 tonnes of oil into the sea.
The oil would blacken 2,980 kilometres of shoreline in Spain, France and Portugal.
There was catastrophic damage to wildlife and the environment, as well as to the region’s fishing industry.