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23 Mai 2018

Marco Chown Oved, The Star (Canada)

Ontario court denies Indigenous Ecuadorians redress against Chevron Canada for pollution of land

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The Indigenous people from Ecuador who have been living for decades on land poisoned by oil companies have had their appeal for redress against Chevron Canada rejected.  An Ontario Appeals Court panel of judges ruled Wednesday that Chevron Canada cannot be held responsible for the toxic pollution left behind in the Amazon rainforest by Texaco in the 1970s and 80s, before it was bought by Chevron.  The Ontario court has ruled that Chevron Canada cannot be held liable, even though it owned by Chevron Corporation through a chain of subsidiaries.  “The legal arguments advanced by the (Indigenous people) cannot succeed,” wrote Justice William Hourigan in the decision.  “If this court endorsed this interpretation, it would result in significant changes to fundamental principles of our corporate law.”...Patricio Salazar, the lead Ecuadorian lawyer for the Indigenous peoples said his clients will be seeking leave to appeal the decision to the Supreme Court...Chevron Corp sucessfully prevented the Indigenous people from enforcing the Ecuadorian judgement in the U.S. by bringing fraud charges against their lead lawyer, Steven Donziger...The New York ruling prohibited the Ecuadorians from seeking to get Chevron Corp. to pay in the U.S., but it did not prevent them from going to other jurisdictions where the company operates.  The current case was launched in Ontario in 2012...The decision was not unanimous...

Part of the following timelines

Court dismisses Ecuadorian villagers' lawsuit asking Chevron Canada to satisfy $9.5 billion judgement against parent co. in oil pollution case

Texaco/Chevron lawsuits (re Ecuador)