Coughing Up the Dough
In the latest victory for residents suffering from pollution-related health problems in a Japanese city, 10 companies agreed today to pay $12.2 million to 260 locals who went to court to protest emissions from the companies’ factories. The out-of-court settlement ends a 12-year dispute in which the Nagoya residents contended that the factory emissions and pollution from cars on a nearby government-built road were giving them respiratory ailments. The residents struck a separate deal with the government, which will now consider imposing stricter emissions limits on diesel trucks, promoting greener cars, and paying for frequent medical checkups for residents. Last fall, a court resolved another air-pollution suit by ordering the same 10 companies to pay $2.33 million to 110 residents.