After this week's scathing setback in a U.S. court, Ecuadorean villagers trying to get billions of dollars from Chevron (CVX) for pollution in the Amazon rainforest are ready to refocus on pending suits in other countries.
While the U.S. district judge's decision will bar enforcement in the U.S. of the $18B judgment against Chevron in Ecuador because the villagers' American lawyer used "corrupt" means, it is not binding in cases elsewhere.
Of cases pending in Canada, Brazil and Argentina, the Canadian case seems to have progressed the farthest, with an Ontario appeals court in December ruling that Canada should be a forum to hear Ecuadoreans' claims.
The Patton Boggs law firm that assisted the U.S. lawyer trying to enforce the Ecuador judgment has suggested 24 countries where the plaintiffs could potentially find better luck.
Chevron hopes this week's ruling will be a game changer for the remaining cases, but those cases could take several more years to fully play out.