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4 Aug 2011

Adam Klasfeld, Courthouse News Service

Ecuadoreans May Face Sanction in Chevron Case [USA]

Chevron demanded sanctions to force the release of documents that may help the oil giant contest an $18 billion judgment awarded to indigenous Ecuadoreans for environmental damage. The Ecuadoreans' spokeswoman [said] that the maneuver is "without merit and an attempt to distract attention from the legal liability the company is facing for destroying the Ecuadorean rainforest." U.S. District Judge Lewis Kaplan signed the order on Tuesday, indicating that the Ecuadoreans may be held in contempt if they do not comply and turn over all responsive documents within one week...Throughout the many phases of litigation, Texaco and Chevron have blamed the state-owned Petroecuador for the spills while denying and downplaying the scope of the damage. Though the Lago Agrio court rejected those arguments, Chevron continues to fight the verdict on multiple fronts...Chevron complained...that the...plaintiffs have turned over a fraction of the sought-after documents.