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Indian state allows claims against Coca-Cola

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NEW DELHI (AP) — An Indian state has passed a law allowing residents to seek compensation from soft drink giant Coca-Cola for alleged environmental damage from a former bottling plant.

Coca-Cola Co.'s Indian subsidiary, Hindustan Coca Cola Beverages, says the legislation passed Thursday by Kerala state is "devoid of facts, scientific data or any input from or consideration given to" the company.

Environmental activists and local residents say the plant in Palakkad district contaminated ground water, caused severe water shortages and leeched dangerous chemicals before it was shut down in 2004.

Coca-Cola denied the allegations. A Kerala committee recommended that a tribunal be set up to hear compensation claims, which the new law facilitates.


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