UPDATE 1-Abitibibowater wins Canada case on environmental cleanup costs

Fri Dec 7, 2012 10:28am EST

* Newfoundland loses appeal in Abitibibowater case

* Issue was whether environmental duty gets reduced in bankrupcty protection

OTTAWA Dec 7 (Reuters) - The Supreme Court of Canada ruled on Friday in favor of newsprint maker Abitibibowater Inc, which now operates as Resolute Forest Products Inc , in a case on liability for environmental cleanup costs in Newfoundland.

The case centered on whether a company's duty to remove environmental contamination is like a commercial debt or another financial claim that can be reduced or eliminated when a company goes through bankruptcy proceedings. Montreal-based Abitibibowater was under bankruptcy protection in 2009-2010.

Canada's top court decided in favor of Abitibibowater.

Canadian media had reported before the decision was announced that Abitibibowater's clean-up liablity could have been up to C$200 million ($200 million).

The case is Her Majesty the Queen in Right of the Province of Newfoundland and Labrador v Abitibibowater Inc. et al (Que) (33797).

A couple walks along the rough surf during sunset at Oahu's North Shore, December 26, 2013. REUTERS/Kevin Lamarque

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