TOTAL, RINA AND ERIKA'S OWNERS ?GUILTY?
A FRENCH court has found oil company Total, classification society Rina and the Erika's Italian owner Giuseppe Savarese and manager Antonio Pollara guilty of negligence leading to the loss of the vessel and subsequent pollution in December 1999.
But it has acquitted the ship's Indian master Karun Mathur and four local maritime officials accused of failing to respond to the disaster.
The court also ruled that some, but not all, of the 101 plaintiffs in the case, including the French state and environmental groups, fishermen, and hotel owners should be compensated for damage cuased by the oil spill.
Total, Rina and the owner and the manager of the Erika tanker have been ordered to pay teuros192m (US$284m) to the various parties claiming compensation.
Total and Rina euros were each fined euros375,000 and Mr Savarese and Mr Pollara were fined euros75,000.