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 Today


The Maritime Industry's original and most viewed E-News Service

Maritime Reporter February 2016 Digital Edition
FREE Maritime Reporter Subscription
Latest Maritime News    rss feeds

Legal

Cautious Optimism on Pacific NorthWest LNG Report

Canadian Environmental Assessment Agency (CEAA)  has ruled that Pacific NorthWest LNG’s project in British Columbia would likely harm harbour porpoises and contribute to climate change,

UPS Oposes CP-NS Merger

UPS, one of North America’s largest intermodal shippers, has told federal regulators that it is against Canadian Pacific Railway's (CP's) proposed acquisition of Norfolk Southern Corp.

SunEdison Restrained from 'Unusual' Asset Transfers

Solar company SunEdison Inc said a U.S. court has restrained the company from making any unusual asset transfers until a hearing in a lawsuit brought on by investors

Finance

Brazil's CEEE to sell stakes in Wind Farms, Dams

Brazil's Companhia Estadual de Energia Elétrica (CEEE), a power utility controlled by the state of Rio Grande do Sul, will sell assets including stakes in wind farms,

DP World Bolsters Investment in India

DP World Pvt. Ltd, the world’s fourth biggest container port operator majority owned by the Dubai government, has plans to invest over $1 billion in India for augmenting its port-related operations.

SunEdison Restrained from 'Unusual' Asset Transfers

Solar company SunEdison Inc said a U.S. court has restrained the company from making any unusual asset transfers until a hearing in a lawsuit brought on by investors

Energy

Brazil's CEEE to sell stakes in Wind Farms, Dams

Brazil's Companhia Estadual de Energia Elétrica (CEEE), a power utility controlled by the state of Rio Grande do Sul, will sell assets including stakes in wind farms,

Premier Oil and Rockhopper Abandon Ocean Rig Contract

Two of the major British players in Falkland Islands offshore oil development, Premier Oil and Rockhopper Exploration, cancelled a joint venture contract with Ocean Rig UDW.

US Oil Drillers Cut Rigs to Least in 6 Years

U.S. energy firms this week cut oil rigs for an eighth week in a row to the lowest levels since January 2010, data showed on Friday, as energy firms continue to

News

Brazil's CEEE to sell stakes in Wind Farms, Dams

Brazil's Companhia Estadual de Energia Elétrica (CEEE), a power utility controlled by the state of Rio Grande do Sul, will sell assets including stakes in wind farms,

N.E. Fishermen Warned of Extreme Cold, Wind Chills

The Coast Guard is urging the Massachusetts and Rhode Island fishing fleet to take caution heading into the weekend when life threatening temperatures and wind chills are forecasted.

Hapag-Lloyd Enhances Conosur Service

Hapag-Lloyd has informed about its service enhancements on the Conosur Service (South America West Coast to South America East Coast). This is being upgraded by

 
 
Maritime Security Maritime Standards Naval Architecture Navigation Salvage Ship Electronics Ship Repair Ship Simulators Shipbuilding / Vessel Construction Sonar
rss | archive | history | articles | privacy | 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: 0.1167 sec (9 req/sec)