International Law

2nd Cir OKs Temporary Ban on Plaintiffs' Collection Efforts re $18B Enviro Judgment Against Chevron

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Corrected: A federal appeals court yesterday upheld an unusual preliminary injunction preventing the plaintiffs who won an $18 billion judgment in an Ecuador environmental case against Chevron Corp. from taking action to collect from the defendant oil company, but eased restrictions imposed by U.S. District Judge Lewis Kaplan that prevented the plaintiffs from raising funds in anticipation of enforcing the judgment or discussing legal strategy with their counsel.

The three-judge panel also agreed to expedite the schedule for hearing the appeal of a restraining order blocked the Ecuadorean plaintiffs from trying to collect the judgment in a U.S. or foreign court, Bloomberg reported. Arguments are likely to be scheduled for July or early August, the Associated Press reported. However, the plaintiffs’ request to delay the November trial on the allegations that led to the injunction in the Southern District of New York case.

Chevron’s counsel, Randy Mastro of Gibson Dunn & Crutcher contended and Kaplan agreed that Chevron was likely to prevail at trial in arguments that the Ecuador verdict was fatally tainted by fraud and corruption in that country’s judicial system, the National Law Journal reported.

In a written statement emailed to the ABA Journal by spokeswoman Karen Hinton, the plaintiffs say: “We believe that Chevron has turned the law on its head, and we are gratified that the Second Circuit has decided to allow a full airing of the legal issues on an expedited basis.”

Chevron has a website linking to its press releases about the case.

Additional and related coverage: “Chevron Fined $8.6B By Ecuador Court in Environmental Case” “Chevron Celebrates Swift Dismissal of Patton Boggs Declaratory Suit re Alleged ‘Smear Campaign’ “

Associated Press: “Appeals court in NYC puts Chevron on defensive”

New York Law Journal: “Ecuadorans in Chevron Lawsuit Seek Kaplan’s Recusal for Bias”

Reuters: “Chevron, Ecuadoreans spar over halted damage award”

Corrected May 13 to state that plaintiffs, not defendants, sought to move the date of the November trial; updated May 13 to include Associated Press and Bloomberg coverage.


This story was corrected May 13 to state that plaintiffs, not defendants, sought to move the date of the November trial.

The ABA Journal regrets the error.

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