Collective interruption of earthquake damages Groningen
On 16 August 2012, a major earthquake hit Huizinge, Groningen, causing a great deal of extremely serious damage to buildings. The underlying cause was gas extraction.
Almost 5 years later, most Groningen residents have still not received any damage compensation whatsoever. The State believes that the Dutch natural gas company Nederlandse Aardolie Maatschappij b.v. (NAM) should provide for this; in a great many cases, however, NAM denies that the damage was caused by gas extraction and refuses to pay compensation. Many Groningen residents feel let down but have nowhere left to turn. They are entitled to damage compensation, but have not received any, and they do not have the resources to take legal action against NAM. The stress, the emotions, the sense of insecurity and unrest are great.
If these citizens have not sent a written demand to NAM or the State by 16 August 2017 in which they demand compliance with their right to damage compensation, they will not be able to demand anything whatsoever, because their option of suing for damage compensation in court will then have become statute-barred. Many duped Groningen residents are unaware of this.
The Stichting Recht & Herstel Mijnbouwschade – a foundation focused on ensuring the redress of damage caused by mining – finds this situation unacceptable.
In order to help these duped Groningen residents, the foundation asked Höcker to draft collective letters interrupting the time limit before 16 August 2017 to ensure that all the duped Groningen residents retain their right to damage compensation.
The Stichting Recht & Herstel Mijnbouwschade believes that not just the State, but also the NAM and EBN are liable for the damage caused by gas extraction.
Höcker therefore sent a collective letter interrupting the time limit to every one of these parties on 9 August 2017. Each letter explains at length why the foundation believes these parties are liable.
The foundation hopes that this will help the Groningen residents.