Royal Dutch Shell has been ordered to pay unspecified damages to one farmer in Nigeria for loss of income.
The ruling comes after a court at the Hague found the oil company partially responsible for failing to prevent sabotage which led to pollution in the Niger Delta region from oil spills in 2004, 2005 and 2007.
However, four other claims against Royal Dutch Shell were dismissed.
Interest group Friends of the Earth joined the four Nigerian fishermen and farmers in also filing the suit against Shell’s Nigerian subsidiary Shell Petroleum Development Company (SPDC).
The Nigerians claimed environmental damage from the oil spills by the country’s largest oil and gas producer meant they could not feed their families.
The case is seen by activists as a test for holding multinational companies responsible for alleged offences at foreign subsidiaries.
Both sides have three months to appeal.