Petrobras To Appeal Court Ruling

Petrobras said it would appeal a $180 million court award to fishermen following a major oil spill in Rio de Janeiro's bay in January 2000. A state court ruled in favor of the Fishermen Federation of Rio de Janeiro, ordering Petrobras to pay $180 million to fishermen affected by the spill of 340,000 gallons of crude into Guanabara Bay through a ruptured pipeline.

Petrobras, which has a history of oil spills, was fined around $30 million in total for the January 2000 spill, that coated scores of birds, fish and other water creatures with oil, killing many. Petrobras releases a statement saying it would appeal in a matter of 15 days, noted it had paid $2.8 million to nearly 10,000 fishermen in the region and distributed food to them after the spill. Court officials said the fishermen now wanted additional compensatory damages. Environmental experts say the spill's impact in the bay's marine life would be felt for at least 10 years.