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Published: Saturday 31 May 2003

In a landmark judgement, the High Court in London ruled against the British Geological Survey (BGS) in the claim brought by victims of arsenic poisoning in Bangladesh. The claimants contended that the BGS was negligent in its failure to test for arsenic when it carried out a survey in 1992 on the toxicity of Bangladesh's groundwater (see: "Hoping for relief", April 30, 2003). The defendant argued that it did not owe a duty of care of the victims. While dismissing this plea, the judge concluded that the case raised a novel point in the law pertaining to the reliance of technical reports. With this win, victims can file cases for compensation.

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