Union Carbide's Bhopal Plant

1717 Words Nov 25th, 2007 7 Pages
"Just after midnight on December 3, 1984, methyl isocante gas began leaking from a Union Carbide plant in Bhopal, India (Hull & Kou, 1996)". What legal questions did this case portray? With this paper we will shed some light on what happened in the aftermaths of this tragedy, and explain the happenings from an International Business law perspective.

On December 3, 1984, the Union Carbide India Ltd (UCIL) plant in Bhopal had a gas leak of a highly poisonous gas which led to the death of 3,800 people, and the injury of more than 100,000 people. UCIL was manufacturing fertilizer and needed the toxic gas methyl isocyanate (MIC). The plant produced this gas themselves, using Indian technology. With this method they had to store
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This will only be done after the place of where to hold the proceedings are found. In deciding where to hear the complaint, it initially needs to be considered who has jurisdiction. The accident occurred in India, but since UOI argues that UCC is responsible for the accident, we need to look at who has jurisdiction over UCC. India would have jurisdiction if UCC had a minimum contact with India. Since UCIL was operating as a separate entity, the only contact UCC had in India, at the time of the accident, was that they owned 51% of UCIL. This is not enough minimum contact for Indian courts to claim jurisdiction over UCC. Hence, the US courts are the only court with jurisdiction over UCC, since it is a US corporation in the US with no minimum contacts established in India.
When we want to evaluate what forum is appropriate for this case, we should first look at who has jurisdiction in the matter. If several entities had jurisdiction, there might be one forum more appropriate than the other. In this case though, the US court is the only court with jurisdiction over the UCC. US courts agreed with UCC and dismissed the case based on forum non convenience, because the accident occurred in India, witnesses, sources of proof and documents were located in India. Records was almost entirely in Hindi, the witnesses for the most part did not speak English and could not be required to appear in a court of the US like in India. A viewing would be easier for an Indian