Chevron Argues In U.S. Court That 18 Billion Dollar Judgement In Ecuador Court Was Obtained Thru Bibery

As the courts continue to decipher myriad legal issues stemming from pollution that occurred decades ago in an Ecuadorian rainforest region, today Chevron won a decision that stated a previous multibillion dollar judgment had been obtained by fraud.

The pollution occurred during oil development activities undertaken by Texaco and national oil company Petroecuador from the 1960’s to the 1990’s. When Chevron acquired Texaco in 2001, it took on Texaco’s legacy legal issues.

A US District Judge ruled today that a 2011 decision which ordered Chevron to pay $19 billion – later reduced to $9.5 billion – in restitution to Ecuadorian people adversely impacted by the pollution was obtained by bribing a judge and ghostwriting court documents.

“The decision in the Lago Agrio case was obtained by corrupt means,” [Judge] Kaplan said in the opinion. “The defendants here may not be allowed to benefit from that in any way.” (…) “The court assumes there is pollution in the Oriente,” Kaplan wrote, referring to the area of Ecuador where drilling occurred. “The issue here is not what happened in the Oriente more than twenty years ago and who, if anyone, now is responsible for any wrongs then done. It instead is whether a court decision was procured by corrupt means, regardless of whether the cause was just.” Bloomberg via FuelFix