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21 Jul 2013

Steven Donziger, member of Ecuadorian plaintiffs' legal team, in letter to Wall Street Journal

Chevron's Costly Offense Will Fail [Subscription required]

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Julian G. Ku and George T. Conway III's "When Corporate Defendants Go on Offense" (op-ed, July 5) about Chevron's hyperaggressive counterattack over the $19 billion Ecuador judgment ignores the considerable downside risk created by this strategy…Since 2010, Chevron has lost the underlying trial in Ecuador after a court found it had deliberately discharged billions of gallons of toxic waste into the Amazon. An appellate court affirmed unanimously and rejected all of Chevron's "fraud" arguments…The centerpiece of Chevron's defense—an unprecedented global antisuit injunction issued by a U.S. trial judge—was reversed unanimously last year. The U.S. Supreme Court refused to hear the appeal…The evidence suggests the Chevron litigation model is extremely expensive, causes reputational risk, impairs business operations and likely will force the company to pay the full amount of the judgment anyway.