Chevron Wins Oil Pollution Case

Chevron Wins Oil Pollution CaseChevron Wins Oil Pollution Case

Chevron could not have won a more emphatic victory in its long-running Ecuadorian pollution case than Monday’s ruling by the US Court of Appeals in New York. A three-judge panel unanimously affirmed a trial court’s determination that, in 2011, the lead attorney for some 30,000 Ecuadorians had won a $9.5 billion judgment against Chevron by means of bribery, coercion and fraud. The energy company will probably leverage the ruling as part of its continuing effort to avoid paying a dime on the verdict. Chevron lacks any property or assets in Ecuador, so it simply refused to pay the plaintiffs there, Bloomberg reported. The Ecuadorians, meanwhile, have sought to enforce their award in Canada, where Chevron subsidiaries do have assets. Opposing enforcement there, Chevron will now cite the US appeals court opinion as support for its argument that the Ecuadorian case was so shot through with fraud that it does not deserve respect anywhere. It is a complicated fight and “must be among the most extensively chronicled in the history of the American federal judiciary”, wrote US Circuit Judge Amalya Kearse.