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Trials & Litigation

Chevron Fined $8.6B By Ecuador Court in Environmental Case

Posted Feb 14, 2011 2:52 PM CDT
By Martha Neil

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Chevron Corp. says that there has been an adverse ruling against the oil company today in an environmental case in Ecuador, and a lawyer there who represents the plaintiffs tells Reuters that the amount was $8 billion.

That is only a fraction of the $113 billion the plaintiffs reportedly had sought in the decades-old case. Meanwhile, it isn't clear what the immediate effect of the verdict may be, since Chevron has already won an unusual federal court order in the United States temporarily blocking any verdict that might issue.

In a press release, Chevron says it will appeal the decision of the Provincial Court of Justice of Sucumbíos in Lago Agrio, Ecuador, which it calls “illegitimate and unenforceable."

Messages left by the ABA Journal for partner James James Tyrrell Jr. of Patton Boggs and a media relations company representing the law firm did not receive an immediate response.

The judgment "is the product of fraud and is contrary to the legitimate scientific evidence," the oil company's statement continues,stating that "Chevron does not believe that today’s judgment is enforceable in any court that observes the rule of law" and that “Chevron intends to see that the perpetrators of this fraud are held accountable for their misconduct.”

The suit arose from the operations of Texaco Petroleum Company in Ecuador, but Chevron became a party by purchasing Texaco.

An Associated Press article published late in the day says Chevron was fined $8.6 billion and provides additional details.

Earlier coverage:

ABAJournal.com: "US Judge Grants TRO to Block Enforcement of Potential Ecuador Verdict Against Chevron"

Washington Post: "A battle between law firms that's rooted in the Amazon"

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