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1 Jun 2011

US Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit

[PDF] Maynas Carijano, et al. v. Occidental Petroleum Corp., et al. - Order and Opinion

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These cross-appeals arise from the petroleum and oil exploration operations conducted by defendant Occidental Peruana (“OxyPeru”), an indirect subsidiary of defendant Occidental Petroleum Corporation (collectively “Occidental”), along the Rio Corrientes in the northern region of Peru. Plaintiffs, 25 members of the Achuar indigenous group dependent for their existence upon the rainforest lands and waterways along the river…sued Occidental…for environmental contamination and release of hazardous waste…Occidental…successfully moved for dismissal on the ground that Peru is a more convenient forum…Because Occidental failed to meet its burden of demonstrating that Peru is a more convenient forum, and the district court gave insufficient weight to the strong presumption in favor of a domestic plaintiff’s choice of forum, the district court abused its discretion by dismissing the lawsuit without imposing mitigating conditions for the dismissal.

Part of the following timelines

US appeals court reverses dismissal of oil pollution lawsuit by indigenous Peruvians against Occidental Petroleum

Occidental lawsuit (re Achuar communities contamination, Peru)