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23 Sep 2013

Adam Klasfeld, Courthouse News Service (USA)

Hague Ruling Fails to Pull Chevron From the Weeds

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Setting the stage for the next round in Chevron's attempt to overturn a $19 billion verdict related to oil pollution in Ecuador, a tribunal said the case hinges on possible overlap with an earlier settlement…Indigenous Ecuadorean peasants and farmers had sued Chevron's predecessor Texaco in 1993 for massive oil spills that they said wrecked their rainforest homes and public health. Two years after that case was filed…the Ecuadorean government separately entered into a $40 million settlement with Texaco in which the oil company agreed to clean up the Amazon…On Thursday, the Permanent Arbitration Court returned a 76-page "partial award" that was elusive enough to have both parties proclaiming victory…In fact, the tribunal made no finding about the legitimacy about the Lago Agrio judgment, and was limited to dissecting the scope of the 1995 settlement agreement…