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Unable to beat Chevron in U.S. court, Ecuador villagers seek favorable venue

  • 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.
Comments (15)
  • JDDurango
    , contributor
    Comments (137) | Send Message
     
    Of course, shop it to other lawyers and other judges until you get the verdict you want. There will be a US and big oil company somewhere in the world and then...THEN, they will get the justice they deserve.

     

    Attorneys are like the plague. Just look at the US congress and what they've done to our once great Country.
    8 Mar, 08:32 AM Reply Like
  • vfc1955
    , contributor
    Comments (26) | Send Message
     
    This is unfortunate that Chevron will need to defend itself even further. Most of the environmental damage was done by the State Oil Company after Texaco cleaned up their site at the end of the term of the arrangement in the early 1990s.

     

    I feel terrible for the locals since they are innocent but the damage was done by the State Oil Co. Chevron should not be liable!
    8 Mar, 08:34 AM Reply Like
  • Alex T
    , contributor
    Comments (267) | Send Message
     
    Can Chevron take this corrupt Law Firm to court in order to recover damages over the false accusations brought by one of their employed plaintiff attorney's?
    8 Mar, 09:07 AM Reply Like
  • smurf
    , contributor
    Comments (3798) | Send Message
     
    Chevron can drag this bogus lawsuit out for decades. The "villagers" will all be in the ground by then. Unfortunately, attorneys seem to live forever.
    8 Mar, 09:54 AM Reply Like
  • wotcher
    , contributor
    Comments (32) | Send Message
     
    As do corporations.
    8 Mar, 10:12 AM Reply Like
  • Owen
    , contributor
    Comments (615) | Send Message
     
    "Can Chevron take this corrupt Law Firm to court in order to recover damages over the false accusations brought by one of their employed plaintiff attorney's?"

     

    To what end, exactly? Chevron already took legal action against the corrupt lawyer, but how much damages do you think they can extract out of this guy? Five million? Ten million? They spend more than that each month on this ongoing litigation.

     

    Chevron is in the business of making money, not exacting pointless and expensive revenge.
    8 Mar, 10:00 AM Reply Like
  • smurf
    , contributor
    Comments (3798) | Send Message
     
    Owen,

     

    "......not exacting pointless and expensive revenge."

     

    Five or ten million bux may not mean much to Chevron in terms of their overall legal expenses, but it might put a slight dent in some ambulance chaser's pocketbook and send a signal to others of that ilk. Down the road it could save Chevron the big legal expenses.

     

    Otherwise, what's your suggestion? Just let these lawyers run wild and tie up the courts with frivolous suits (at public expense, I might add)?
    9 Mar, 04:06 PM Reply Like
  • Owen
    , contributor
    Comments (615) | Send Message
     
    My suggestion is to avoid doing business in countries where rule of law or property rights are nonexistent or in their infancy. Sure, this may mean giving up a fair part of global expansion, but it allows the company to plan things better, and avoid these $18 billion surprises.

     

    In the end, "punishing" a lawyer with $5M in damages for frivolous lawsuits or unethical behaviour will likely do very little to deter others from trying the same. Remember, the payoff is measured in billions. It's like trying to deter shoplifters by imposing a fine that is 1% of the value of the stolen item. It is just impossible to do business under such conditions.
    9 Mar, 05:01 PM Reply Like
  • John Galt 92
    , contributor
    Comments (3) | Send Message
     
    This sorry long epic of bottom feeding corrupt lawyers brings to mind the scene in the movie "War of the Roses" where the divorce attorney, Danny DeVito, jokingly asks Michael Douglas who is seeking a divorce "What do you get with eight lawyers at the bottom of the sea?".

     

    DeVito's answer, "A GOOD START!"
    8 Mar, 10:22 AM Reply Like
  • wotcher
    , contributor
    Comments (32) | Send Message
     
    From the Reuters article:
    "Ultimately, all the international legal wrangling has left the real victims of the legacy of environmental damage out in the cold," said Judith Kimerling, an environmental law professor at The City University of New York, Queens College. Kimerling represents a group of indigenous Ecuadoreans suing Donziger in New York state court for unjust enrichment and seeking to recover resources to clean up the polluted area.

     

    "There are real people with real injuries and legitimate claims behind all this," Kimerling said. "It is a very sad day for the victims and for the environment because it makes it more difficult for them to get remedies."
    8 Mar, 10:37 AM Reply Like
  • aeroguy48
    , contributor
    Comments (609) | Send Message
     
    An environmental law professor paid by the government, represents indigenous foreign Ecuadorians? Nope not a hint of corruption here. Move along now folks.
    9 Mar, 02:13 PM Reply Like
  • BAHAMAS1
    , contributor
    Comments (1814) | Send Message
     
    Throw all the "plaintiff's" (cheats) and their "lawyers" (bigger cheats) asses in jail for the myriad of offenses they perpetrated on CVX and the world.

     

    Hard to cheat from PRISON !
    8 Mar, 11:01 AM Reply Like
  • tommy2
    , contributor
    Comments (5) | Send Message
     
    After watching this for years, I finally got the details on the Texaco cleanup years ago. The cleanup cost was 3 times what they thought it would be, plus several different outside companies were hired to oversee the cleanup making sure Texaco did the cleanup job. The government was right in the middle of it all the way. The oil field was turned over to the gov. oil company and who knows what happen after that.

     

    Talk about a joke of a lawsuit, the judge should have seen Dozier over there to live.
    8 Mar, 11:20 AM Reply Like
  • John Galt 92
    , contributor
    Comments (3) | Send Message
     
    THE REAL REDRESS for VICTIMS of the Ecuadorian pollution is AGAINST ECUADOR's National Oil Company and it's owners - those who caused the damage after Texaco's confession ended and had cleaned up the site the the then satisfaction of the the Ecuador government!

     

    This bottom feeding lawyer and his firm should go after the real source of the damage - the Ecuador National Oil Company, NOT CHEVRON, and NOT TEXACO!
    9 Mar, 04:38 AM Reply Like
  • smurf
    , contributor
    Comments (3798) | Send Message
     
    Of course, everyone knows that this is just a ploy by the Chavez-Lite Rafael Correa to line his and his socialist cronies' pockets.

     

    Does anyone really think that any potential settlement would actually ever reach the "villagers" ?
    9 Mar, 04:13 PM Reply Like
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