Chevron’s shareholders support resolution citing management’s mishandling of lawsuit over oil pollution in Ecuador

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Article
7 July 2016

Chevron Shareholders Still Wary of Risks From $11 Billion Ecuador Judgment

Author: Simon Billenness, CSR Strategy Group

Chevron shareholders remain wary of the risks from an $11 billion judgment against the company in Ecuador. They also continue to be critical of Chevron management’s mishandling of the case.

At Chevron’s annual shareholder meeting in May…[s]hareholders voted 378,540,311 shares in support of a resolution that cited management’s mishandling of the case in Ecuador and called for tighter shareholder oversight…

Proponents believe that Chevron’s management has materially mishandled legal matters brought against the company by communities in Ecuador – in ways that increased liabilities for the matter, currently amounting to $9.5 billion. Moreover, proponents are concerned about the adequacy of the company’s disclosure of those risks to shareholders. Finally, proponents are deeply troubled that the company has harassed longstanding shareholders who questioned the company’s approach to these issues….

…It is our belief that instead of negotiating an expedient, fair, and comprehensive settlement with the affected communities in Ecuador, Chevron management pursued a costly, risky, and ultimately unsuccessful legal strategy that involved material missteps…

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Article
7 July 2016

The Ends Do Not Justify The Means

Author: Theodore J. Boutrous, Jr., Gibson, Dunn & Crutcher LLP

…There is a growing trend of…cases being filed against corporations, claiming to be in defense of the environment or human rights, which are ultimately exposed as fraudulent and fabricated. Often, corporations settle these types of cases to avoid reputational damage or costly litigation…

Increasingly, however, corporations are challenging these baseless actions, and the organizations behind the frivolous lawsuits are not happy about it.

Last week, Katie Redford, the co-founder and director of EarthRights International, published a column to this site lamenting the fact that corporations are standing up for themselves. She even goes so far as to blame my law firm for leading this charge, citing cases we have handled for Dole and Chevron as examples of what she labels “retaliatory litigation” in an effort to silence environmentalists.

By highlighting these two cases, Ms. Redford demonstrates exactly why it is not only important, but vital, that American corporations fight fraudulent lawsuits if they have facts on their side…

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