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GRECO Law Company prepared and provided legal support for the trial of the first class action lawsuit in the history of Ukraine

The basis for the filing of a class action lawsuit was a tragic event, which before the beginning of the armed aggression of the Russian Federation was considered as the largest man-made and environmental disaster in the history of Ukraine – a fire at a large fuel depot located near the village of Kryachki of the Vasylkiv district in the Kyiv region, which was used by a well-known fuel company in Ukraine

The fire killed six people and injured 16 others. The commission established by the Government of Ukraine investigated the causes and consequences of the Vasylkiv tragedy, and found that the fuel depot had been rendered hazardous by violations of urban planning legislation andenvironmental safety rules; the report also found that the fire had caused significant material damage, including to the environment

We created the NGO “Foundation for Overcoming the Consequences of the Vasylkiv Tragedy” (hereinafter – the Vasylkiv Foundation) to ensure the protection of the rights of the victims. GRECO Law Company’s lawyers provided full legal support for the filing and trial of the first class action lawsuit in Ukraine, initiated by the Vasylkiv Foundation in the interests of its 2,225 members, targeted at more than 60 legal entities responsible for conducting business activities that led to the Vasylkiv tragedy

The subject of the claims was the recovery of moral damages caused to the residents of the Vasylkiv community who lived in the area affected by the fire, in the total amount of UAH 2,700,000,000 (about USD 100,000,000 as of the date of the lawsuit). The court took measures to secure the lawsuit by seizing the property and funds of the defendants’ enterprises. The trial process was delayed, as a result of abuse by each of the defendants of their procedural rights, and as a result of the Ukrainian courts’ initial rejection of the concept of class action lawsuits

In addition, the defendants launched a negative media campaign against the affected persons, the management of the Vasylkiv Foundation and the representatives of the GRECO Law Company team, who were referred to as “eco-raiders”

However, after two-and-a-half years of court proceedings, a settlement agreement was reached between some of the defendants and the Vasylkiv Foundation on the payment of ex gratia (payment without admission of guilt) compensation for the damage in the total amount of USD 1,000,000
In 2021, the Vasylkiv Foundation made payments to its injured members, making it the first case in Ukraine in which plaintiffs received compensation