Peruvian Oil Spill Case Makes New Waves in U.S.
Over the vehement objection of its chief judge, the 9th Circuit on Thursday declined to reconsider claims that Occidental Petroleum Company harmed the Peruvian rain forest. Amazon Watch and 25 members of the Achuar communities, who live along the Corrientes and Mascusari rivers in a remote part of the Peruvian rainforest, say Occidental used outdated and illegal methods for separating crude oil during three decades of oil production in the region between 1971 and 2000. Though the company knew that such environmental negligence contaminated rivers and made community members sick, it failed to warn the people, according to the complaint. But U.S. District Judge Philip Gutierrez dismissed the lawsuit when it was removed from Los Angeles County Superior Court...He found that Peru would have been a more a convenient forum for the claims. But the 9th Circuit later...revived the case in late 2010. On Thursday, the federal appeals court in Pasadena refused to convene a full, 11-judge panel to reconsider the issue.