Eight Karen people who have won a marathon court case spanning three courts in 13 years on Tuesday received compensation totaling 20.2 million baht from Lead Concentrates (Thailand) Company.
The Supreme Court, on July 14, ordered the company to pay the eight defendants, villagers of Lower Klitty in Kanchanaburi province, 20.2 million baht in compensation for bodily harms caused to them from lead poisoning released into their water sources by the company’s lead extracting plant.
The cash was handed over to the eight victims by the company’s two lawyers at the branch office of the Government Savings Bank in Muang district of Kanchanaburi. The money was split up among the eight and later deposited in the bank accounts.
Mr Surapong Kongchantoek, director of Karen Study and Development Centre, said that although the legal battle lasted 13 years, the Karen villagers were happy to receive the compensation which would be used for their treatment and to be contributed to a fund to help the other affected villagers and for the development of their communities.
Besides the compensation to the eight victims, he said the court also ordered the company to clean up the Klitty creek which is yet to be undertaken.
Another similar case is still pending with the court. 151 Karen villagers sued the company and its four executives demanding about one billion baht in compensation. The Court of First Instance and the Appeals Court ordered the company to pay the 151 Karens 30 million baht in compensation.
Source: Thai Public Broadcasting Service (Thai PBS)