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Chevron’s Pollution Victory Opens Door for Companies to Shirk Foreign Verdicts
Author: Paul Barrett, Bloomberg Businessweek (USA), Published on: 9 August 2016
Chevron wasn’t the only winner in Monday’s ruling...in which the court affirmed that a lawyer for victims engaged in wrongdoing to secure a $9.5 billion verdict in the South American country. [It] may benefit other corporations seeking to avoid enforcement of foreign judgments they contend are based on corrupt proceedings...Ruling said that an American corporation hit with a big-ticket judgment abroad can come home to the U.S. and use the Racketeer Influenced and Corrupt Organizations Act (RICO) as a weapon to go after the lawyers on the other side of the aisle...Interpreting RICO as authorizing a company to seek an injunction in this manner “is consistent with Congress’s intent to encourage civil litigation to supplement government efforts to deter and penalize” illegal activity prohibited by RICO, Kearse wrote...The injunction that the federal appeals court upheld said that Donziger and his clients couldn’t enforce their tainted judgment in the U.S., and couldn’t profit from it anywhere in the world. It seems entirely likely that other corporations that find themselves in similar straits will emulate Chevron and its RICO defense...