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2nd Circuit Shields Chevron From $9.5B Verdict
Author: Kevin Lessmiller and Adam Klasfeld, Courthouse News Service (USA), Published on: 9 August 2016
The Second Circuit ruled...that Ecuadoreans cannot collect a $9.5 billion judgment against Chevron for rainforest damage, finding that the judgment was the result of bribery and fraud. The ruling is another setback for rainforest residents who have struggled for 23 years for compensation for what they called an "Amazon Chernobyl"...Ecuador's highest court upheld the verdict three years later, but reduced the judgment to about $9.5 billion. Chevron promised to abide by the Ecuadorean judgment to win the transfer of the case, but it later insisted that this obligation was void because of fraud. Returning to New York, Chevron accused lawyers for the Ecuadoreans — particularly, a human-rights lawyer named Steven Donziger — of attempting to "shake-down" the company for billions by pressuring them to pay an illegitimate judgment...The Second Circuit heard arguments in the case last year...[T]he New York City-based appeals court unanimously upheld Kaplan's ruling. "There is no authority suggesting that a party ignorant of its attorney's fraudulent actions may enforce a fraudulently procured judgment," Judge Amalya Kearse wrote for a three-judge panel..."The Ecuadorians' attorneys are reviewing it carefully and will be exploring all options for further appeal...[T]his ruling will not deter the Ecuadorians, their lawyers and their supporters from aggressively seeking justice in Canada and in other countries where litigation is underway to seize Chevron assets,"...