A bit of background: Shell's operations in Nigeria have always been accompanied by environmental pollution, corruption, and many deaths. A respondent in the Nigerian oil fields once answered one of my students' request for a description of his environment: "It is bright at night because of all the flares [natural gas being wasted], and it is dark at daytime because of all the pollution." The most recent oil spill is thought to take 30 years to clean up. The Nigerian government has never demonstrated any concern for the people who live amongst the oil fields.
TED Case Study Ogoni and Oil
Our noble SCOTUS could find, could it not, that for the purposes of tort claims, corporations are not persons?