North Sea divers threaten to sue Norway about insufficient settlements

Mar 02, 2004 01:00 AM

Norwegian divers whose work on oil platforms in the North Sea has left them physically or psychologically scarred threatened to sue the Norwegian state over what they call insufficient settlements.
"It's a matter of institutional criminality. We're not going to let this lie," Tom Engh, a spokesman for the North Sea Divers' Alliance (NSDA), told.

According to the Alliance, an unspecified number of the divers who helped Norway build up its now booming oil industry from the 1970s onwards died prematurely, while dozens of others have seen their health deteriorate as a result of the country's delayed adoption of regulations surrounding the frequency and the conditions of their dives.
The Norwegian right-right government and the opposition Labour Party reached a deal to pay up to NOK 2.5 mm (about $ 350,000, EUR 290,000) to any diver who has been totally or partially disabled by physical or psychological conditions.

"They're spitting at us," Engh said. "The first dives took place in 1968 and we still don't have a support system."
"The state should compensate us for our ruined careers and for our destroyed lives. The sum of NOK 2.5 mm is not satisfactory," he added.

Source: Agence France Presse
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