Washington — all lawsuits filed against Union Carbide Corp. in the chemical leak disaster in Bhopal, India totaling billions of dollars in damages have been consolidated in federal court in New York, a judicial panel announced Wednesday.

The Judicial Panel on Multidistrict Litigation in Washington issued a statement saying it assigned the case to U.S. District Judge John Keenan in Manhattan.

The seven member judicial panel decided to transfer all existing pretrial federal court proceedings against Union Carbide to a single jurisdiction where such a suit already existed.

Lawyers for Union Carbide, based in Danbury, Conn., had fought to have the suits tried in India. Other attorneys had argued the case should be consolidated in West Virginia or New York.

More than 2,500 people were killed and more than 100,000 others were injured when methyl isocyanate gas leaked from Union Carbide’s pesticide plant in Bhopal, India, Dec 3).

At least 39 lawsuits have been filed against Union Carbide, asking for many billions of dollars in damages.

In Bhopal, a resident filed a $3.5 million lawsuit Wednesday against the state government for alleged negligence in the leak, the Press Trust of India reported.

District Judge S. Nayadav accepted the suit against the state government of Madhya Pradesh, whose capital is Bhopal, said PTI.

The domestic news agency said the suit demanded a total of $3.5 million in “‘interim relief”’ to be distributed to everyone residing within 4.5 miles of the pesticide plant.

Judge Nayadav set Feb. 20 for. The first hearing in the suit in Bhopal.

Article extracted from this publication >>  February 15, 1985