Chevron Wins Another Round in Ecuador Fraud Case: Case Against Oil Company in $19B Pollution Case Collapsing2 May 2013
Chevron continues to battle charges against the oil company in Ecuador and win victory after courtroom victory against Steven Donziger and the plaintiffs in the fraudulent case of pollution in the Amazon region of Ecuador.
Just yesterday, the Ontario Superior Court of Justice stayed an action initiated by the Ecuadorian plaintiffs seeking to have a judgment of an Ecuadorian court against Chevron Corp. [NYSE: CVX] recognized and enforced in Ontario.
This latest success for Chevron comes right after a series of blockbuster announcements by former members of Donziger’s plaintiffs’ team who have now switched sides and joined Chevron, announcing the work they did for Donziger and the Ecuadorian was fabricated or faulty because they, too, were misled by Donziger.
Add to these recent announcements that a former Ecuadorian judge revealed that he accepted bribes from the plaintiffs’ team along with another Ecuadorian judge to draft rulings in favor of the plaintiffs and you have a lawsuit that is a better read than anything John Grisham has ever written.
The Canadian court ruled yesterday in the case and wrote:
“The plaintiffs (Steven Donziger, Ecuadorians) have no hope of success in their assertion that the corporate veil of Chevron Canada should be pierced and ignored so that its assets become exigible to satisfy a judgment against its ultimate parent. There is no basis in law or fact for such a claim.… Ontario courts should be reluctant to dedicate their resources to disputes where, in dollar and cents terms, there is nothing to fight over. In my view, the parties should take their fight elsewhere to some jurisdiction where any ultimate recognition of the Ecuadorean judgment will have a practical effect.”
In response, Chevron Corporation issued the following statement:
“We are pleased with today’s decision from Justice Brown. The Ontario Superior Court ruled that it ought not to entertain the plaintiffs’ claims on the evidence before the court. This is a significant setback to the Ecuadorian plaintiffs’ worldwide enforcement strategy given that it is premised on seeking to enforce the judgment against assets of Chevron Corporation subsidiaries that were not even parties to the Ecuadorian litigation.”
“The plaintiffs should be seeking enforcement in the United States – where Chevron Corporation resides. In the U.S., however, they would be confronted by the fact that eight federal courts have already found the Ecuador trial tainted by fraud.”
Meanwhile, Chevron Corp. has made additional notable progress in the legal proceedings in the United States exposing the fraudulent nature of the plaintiffs’ judgment. This evidence further demonstrates that the judgment is illegitimate and should be unenforceable in any court that respects the rule of law. Evidence of the plaintiffs’ fraud includes:
- A former Ecuadorian judge has admitted his role in orchestrating the fraudulent judgment against Chevron and a half-million-dollar bribery scheme.
- Stratus Consulting, the lead environmental consultants to the Ecuadorian plaintiffs’ lawyers, provided sworn declarations (here and here), highlighting the lack of scientific merit to the plaintiffs’ damage claims.
- Another of the plaintiffs’ lawyers’ environmental consultants, Dr. Charles Calmbacher, has testified that plaintiffs’ evidence was being falsified from the very outset of the trial.
- Litigation hedge fund Burford Capital has provided a sworn declaration outlining the firm’s knowledge of the plaintiffs’ lawyers’ misconduct, testifying that the proceeding is irredeemably tainted by fraud.
Chevron Corp. remains committed to holding the plaintiffs’ lawyers accountable for their misconduct and demonstrating the judgment is the product of a corrupted judiciary.
Chevron Corp. is defending itself against false allegations that it is responsible for alleged environmental and social harms in the Oriente region of Ecuador. Chevron never conducted oil production operations in Ecuador, and its subsidiary Texaco Petroleum Co. (“TexPet”) fully remediated its share of environmental impacts arising from oil production operations, before leaving Ecuador in 1992. After the remediation was certified by all agencies of the Ecuadorian government responsible for oversight, TexPet received a complete release from Ecuador’s national, provincial, and municipal governments that extinguished all claims before Chevron acquired TexPet in 2001. All legitimate scientific evidence exonerates Chevron and proves that the remediated sites pose no significant risks to human health or the environment.
Chevron is one of the world’s leading integrated energy companies, with subsidiaries that conduct business worldwide. The company is involved in virtually every facet of the energy industry. Chevron explores for, produces and transports crude oil and natural gas; refines, markets and distributes transportation fuels and lubricants; manufactures and sells petrochemical products; generates power and produces geothermal energy; provides energy efficiency solutions; and develops the energy resources of the future, including biofuels. Chevron is based in San Ramon, Calif. More information about Chevron is available at www.chevron.com.
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