26 – Risks from litigation and claims
BASF S.A., Brazil, and Shell are defendants in several individual lawsuits and one class action lawsuit regarding existing and potential health damage to former employees and contractors’ employees, their families and descendants due to their employment at a site in Paulinia, Brazil, which was significantly contaminated by the production of crop protection products. BASF acquired the site from American Cyanamid in 2000, who had in turn acquired it from Shell in 1995. The contamination stems from the period before 2000. In August 2010, BASF S.A. and Shell were jointly ordered to pay damages, including for medical treatment and personal suffering, equivalent to approximately €490 million, not including interest. The appeal against this first-instance judgment was rejected on April 4, 2011. On August 13, 2012, BASF S.A.’s review appeal against this decision was accepted by the highest labor court in Brazil. The parties reached a settlement to finally end the proceedings on April 8, 2013, BASF S.A.’s share of the damages amounts to roughly €30 million.
On May 21, 2013, the International Court of Arbitration (ICC) notified Wintershall Energía S.A., Argentina (WIAR) of the commencement of an arbitration proceedings against WIAR, Total Austral S.A. and Pan American Energy LLC by Metrogas S.A., Chile. The defendants, as sellers, concluded a natural gas supply contract with Metrogas in 1997. In the arbitration procedure, Metrogas claims damages as a result of insufficient gas deliveries. The value of the claim amounts to €180 million, of which WIAR would have to bear 37.5%. The defendants are of the opinion that Metrogas does not have any claim for damages.
In addition, BASF SE and its affiliated companies are defendants in or parties to further judicial, arbitrational and regulatory proceedings. Based on the current state of knowledge, these proceedings will have no material influence on the economic situation of BASF.