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Spain court grants $1.7 billion compensation for oil spill

December 20, 2018
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FILE - In this Dec. 1, 2003 file photo, a person looks at oil sludge on a beach in Finisterre in Galicia, northwestern Spain. Spain's Supreme Court on Thursday Dec. 20, 2018, has ruled that the captain and the insurer of the Prestige oil tanker must pay more than 1.5 billion euros in compensation to Spain, France and authorities in Spain's Galicia region, as well as to another 269 companies, communities and individuals affected by the spill after Spain's biggest environmental disaster, when the ship sank in 2002. (AP Photo/Carmelo Alen, File)

MADRID (AP) — Spain’s Supreme Court has ruled that the captain and the insurer of the Prestige oil tanker must pay more than 1.5 billion euros ($1.7 billion) in compensation for Spain’s biggest environmental disaster, when the vessel sank in 2002.

The court said in a statement Thursday that captain Apostolos Mangouras and The London Owners Mutual Insurance Association shall pay the damages to Spain, France and authorities in Spain’s Galicia region, as well as to another 269 companies, communities and individuals affected by the spill.

The tanker sprang a leak and sank off northwest Spain, polluting a long stretch of coastline and ruining the area’s rich fishing grounds.

Years of legal challenges slowed the compensation process.

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