A British court has ordered Savaro Ltd, the company responsible for the Beirut explosion to pay $1 million in compensation to some of the victims, marking a significant step towards justice for the devastating incident. The court awarded the victims approximately £850,000 after hearing firsthand accounts from four individuals, including the parents of a three-year-old girl who tragically lost her life in the blast. The explosion, caused by a shipment of 2,750 tonnes of ammonium nitrate left in a warehouse in Beirut port for several years before catching fire and exploding in August 2020, resulted in the deaths of at least 215 people.
Earlier this year, the High Court found Savaro, the company responsible for the shipment, liable for the explosion. The case was brought by the Beirut Bar Association and heard under English law due to Savaro’s registration in England and Wales. A team of British lawyers, including barrister Neil Hart KC and solicitors Dechert, waived their fees to bring the case, and Savaro was not represented during the proceedings.
In addition to the compensation awarded to the victims, Judge Roger Eastman ordered Savaro to pay £760,000 in court costs, which will be donated to charity. Relatives of some of the victims were also given the opportunity to provide statements during the proceedings. Paul Naggear and Tracey Awad, the parents of 3-yr old Alexandra, who passed away following brain surgery after the blast, described their desperate search for medical assistance in the aftermath of the explosion.
Elie Malahi, the father of Ralf Malahi, one of 10 firefighters who lost their lives in the blast, spoke about the emotional toll of his son’s death, saying, “We no longer have any joy in our lives.” Along with Alexandra’s parents, Mr. Malahi’s family was awarded £100,000 for emotional trauma. The fourth claimant, Inaam Al Kayal, received the bulk of the compensation, around £550,000, to cover her future medical expenses, lost earnings, and emotional damage. This ruling brings hope to the victims and their families, who have been coping with the aftermath of the explosion for nearly two years.
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