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Friday, November 15, 2013

Ecuadorian SC halves damages against Chevron

Today's post was shared by Legal Newsline and comes from legalnewsline.com

Kaplan
Kaplan

QUITO, Ecuador (Legal Newsline) — Ecuador’s Supreme Court on Tuesday upheld a $9.5 billion damage claim against Chevron Corp., but dismissed the $9 billion punitive damage award against the oil giant.

The opinion is the final ruling in the hotly contested lawsuit between the villagers of Ecuador and Chevron.

In 2011, a lower Ecuadorian court found Chevron liable for dumping billions of gallons of toxic waste into the Amazon, causing an outbreak of disease and decimating indigenous groups, and ordered the company to pay $19 billion.

Chevron has vowed never to pay the judgment.

Kaplan

It alleges that the Ecuador suit has been used to threaten the oil company, mislead U.S. government officials, and harass and intimidate its employees — all to extort a financial settlement from the company.

And soon after the 2011 ruling, the company filed a racketeering lawsuit in a New York federal court in an effort to prevent New York attorney Steven Donziger and the Ecuadorians from pursuing enforcement of the award.

Judge Lewis Kaplan, for the U.S. District Court for the Southern District of New York, continues to hear testimony in the case. The trial began last month.

In an email to Yahoo! News, Chevron spokesman James Craig called the Ecuadorian Supreme Court’s ruling “as illegitimate and unenforceable today as it was when it was issued.”

A spokesman for the legal team representing the Ecuadorian villagers countered, calling the court’s 220-page...

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