Chevron Wins A Round In U.S. Suit - Ecuador Case

Posted by Joseph R. Fonseca
Friday, April 25, 2014
Chevron

 

A federal judge on Friday rejected a bid by a U.S. lawyer to stall the enforcement of a ruling that found he used fraud to secure a $9.5 billion pollution judgment against Chevron Corp in Ecuador.

Lawyer Steven Donziger is appealing a 500-page decision issued by U.S. District Judge Lewis Kaplan in March that barred him from collecting on a $9.5 billion judgment against Chevron in the United States.

Chevron filed a lawsuit against Donziger in New York, claiming he used bribery and fake evidence to win the historic damage award for a group of villagers who claimed the oil giant polluted an area of north eastern Ecuador.

An Ecuadorean judge had awarded the villagers $18 billion in 2011 but the country's high court later cut the judgment in half.

Kaplan ruled Donziger had bribed a former judge to ghost-write the Ecuadorean judgment and committed other improprieties, finding him liable for fraud and racketeering.

Donziger had asked Kaplan to put the decision on hold while a federal appeals court considers the merits of his challenge, a process that will likely take months to resolve.

But in Friday's order, Kaplan said Donziger's arguments for a stay were largely "without merit."

Donziger's "claims of irreparable injury rest on a pastiche of unsupported assertions, contradictions of undisputed evidence and fertile imagination," Kaplan's opinion said.

Kaplan did grant Donziger narrow relief on one point.

He allowed that the shares Donziger holds in a company called Amazonia, organized to collect and distribute any proceeds of Ecuadorean judgment, will be held by the court - not Chevron - pending the final outcome of the appeal.

Chevron spokesman Morgan Crinklaw called the attorney's motion to stay "yet another attempt to delay and distract from the unrebutted evidence against him" and said the company was confident it would win in the appeals court.

Donziger's attorney said he had no comment.

The long-running case centers on an oil field in the Amazon jungle, known as Lago Agrio, where Texaco operated from 1964 to 1992. Chevron later acquired Texaco.

Chevron asserts that Texaco cleaned up the site before handing it over to a state-controlled company but the villagers say they are still suffering from the legacy of environmental contamination.

Donziger has repeatedly accused Kaplan of bias and claimed the judge allowed personal animosity to cloud his decision. He denies the bribery and fraud allegations.

The New York ruling does not restrict the villagers from trying to seek enforcement of the Ecuadorean judgment outside the United States.

A Canadian court ruled in December that Ontario was a proper jurisdiction for the Ecuadorean plaintiffs to press Chevron to pay up and the country's Supreme Courtearlier this month agreed to hear the company's appeal of that ruling.

The Ecuadoreans are also pursuing cases in Argentina and Brazil in the hopes of one day seeing a payout from the case.

The case is Chevron Corp v. Steven Donziger et al, U.S. District Court for the Southern District of New York, No. 11-0691.

(Additional reporting by Nate Raymond and Joseph Ax; Editing by David Gregorio)

Maritime Reporter August 2014 Digital Edition
FREE Maritime Reporter Subscription
Latest Maritime News    rss feeds

Legal

Nigerian Oil Workers Call Off Strike After Talks with Government

Nigerian oil workers' unions have called off a four-day strike after reaching a deal with the government in a dispute over pensions, they said on Saturday. A

Nigerian Minister Pledges $1.3 bln for Power Companies

Nigeria's oil minister announced a 213 billion naira (1.3 billion US dollar) bail-out package for power companies on Saturday, nearly a year after the sector was privatised.

Russia's Yamal LNG Project May Tap Wealth Fund in 2014

Russia's Novatek may get funds from the National Wealth Fund for its Yamal LNG project before the year-end, a minister said, as part of government plans to support sanction-hit companies.

Finance

Statoil: New Compressor Means Heightened Production

The new compressor in operation on the Kvitebjørn field in the North Sea from 17 September will increase production there by 220 million barrels of oil equivalent

India's Coal Imports Causing Port Congestion

Congestion at Paradip expected to ease in a week if rains stop; higher-than-usual congestion at some other ports too. Indian power and steel companies are importing

Short-Term Perils of Lower Oil Prices: DW Monday

At present we are seeing lower oil prices as a function of softer demand growth in both Europe and China combined with recent output increases from OPEC, particularly Libya,

Energy

Deep Sea Mooring Wins Contract with Repsol

Global energy company Repsol has selected Deep Sea Mooring (DSM) to provide a range of mooring services for their drilling operations on the Norwegian Continental Shelf.

Statoil: New Compressor Means Heightened Production

The new compressor in operation on the Kvitebjørn field in the North Sea from 17 September will increase production there by 220 million barrels of oil equivalent

China's Navy Enters Strait of Hormuz

Bandar Abbas, home of Iran's navy and the main port in the strategically important Strait of Hormuz, is currently hosting two Chinese naval vessels on a five-day goodwill visit,

News

REL to Supply Deep Ocean Mooring Winch System to NOC

Romica Engineering Ltd (REL) have signed a contract with the U.K.’s National Oceanography Center (NOC) to provide a containerized deep ocean mooring winch system.

McAllister Towing Celebrates 150 in Style

McAllister Towing hosted a dual celebration in New York City on Friday, September 19, a gala in honor of the company’s 150th anniversary and a traditional christening of the Buckley McAllister,

Lilaas Engages Imtra for North American Distribution

Prospects in the North American marine equipment market have triggered a new and distribution agreement between control specialist Lilaas AS and marine and offshore

 
 
Maritime Careers / Shipboard Positions Maritime Contracts Maritime Security Maritime Standards Pod Propulsion Port Authority Ship Electronics Ship Simulators Sonar Winch
rss | archive | history | articles | privacy | terms and conditions | contributors | top maritime news | about us | copyright | maritime magazines
maritime security news | shipbuilding news | maritime industry | shipping news | maritime reporting | workboats news | ship design | maritime business

Time taken: 0.1581 sec (6 req/sec)