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Chevron lawsuit (re Nigeria)

In 1999, a group of Nigerians of the Niger Delta region, where Chevron engages in oil production activities, brought a lawsuit against Chevron in US federal court.  The plaintiffs allege that they suffered human rights violations, including torture and summary execution, at the hands of the Nigerian military and police acting in concert with Chevron to suppress the plaintiffs’ protests against Chevron’s environmental practices in the Niger Delta.  The claims against Chevron are based on two incidents.  First, two protestors were shot by Nigerian military and police allegedly recruited by Chevron at its Parabe offshore platform.  Second, two Nigerian villages, Opia and Ikenyan, were attacked by Nigerian soldiers using helicopters and boats allegedly leased and/or owned by Chevron, and these attacks allegedly caused the death and injury of a number of villagers. 

In March of 2007, a federal judge dismissed the federal racketeering claims against Chevron, but the judge declined to dismiss the remaining nine claims made by the plaintiffs.  In August of 2007, a federal judge issued a series of decisions regarding Chevron's motions for summary judgment.  The judge's orders narrowed the lawsuit,but the plaintiffs' central claims regarding Chevron's complicity in human rights violations were allowed to stand.  On 1 December 2008, the federal jury cleared Chevron of the charges in this case.  In March 2009, the federal judge denied the plaintiffs' request for a new trial, finding that the evidence presented at trial supported the jury's verdict.  The plaintiffs filed an appeal with the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals in April 2009.  The Court of Appeals heard the appeal in June 2010.  In September 2010 the Court of Appeals issued a decision upholding the verdict of the trial court.  The plaintiffs petitioned the Supreme Court on 20 June 2011 asking the court to hear an appeal in this case.  In late April 2012 the Supreme Court declined to hear the appeal.

- "Chevron Reaches End of Torture Liability Suit",  Barbara Leonard, Courthouse New Service [USA], 23 Apr 2012
- "Verdict clearing Chevron is upheld", Bob Egelko, San Francisco Chronicle, 11 Sep 2010
- "Burden of proof at issue at Chevron-Nigeria appeal", Braden Reddall, Reuters, 14 Jun 2010
- "Chevron cleared in 1998 shootings at Nigerian oil platform", Richard Paddock, Los Angeles Times, 2 Dec 2008
- "US judge lets Chevron Nigeria lawsuit continue", Reuters, 16 Aug 2007

- "Chevron wins partial dismissal in Nigeria case", Associated Press, 14 Mar 2007
- “New Document Alleges Tie Between Chevron and Human Rights Abuses in Nigeria”, William Baue, SocialFunds.com, 12 Aug 2005

- “Chevron Paid Nigerian Troops After Alleged Killings”, David R. Baker, San Francisco Chronicle, 04 Aug 2005

- “ChevronTexaco Going To Trial”, Karen Gullo, Bloomberg News, 26 Mar 2004

Chevron:
- Bowoto v. Chevron - Hostage Taking Incident in Nigeria

Center for Constitutional Rights [plaintiffs’ counsel]:
- Bowoto v. Chevron [case synopsis]

Earthrights International [plaintiffs’ counsel]:
- Bowoto v. ChevronTexaco [includes links to certain court documents]
 
- [PDF] Bowoto, et al. v. Chevron Corporaton - Petition for Writ of Certiorari, 20 June 2011
- US Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit: [PDF] Bowoto, et al. v. Chevron Corporation - Opinion, 10 Sep 2010 

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Article
31 August 2006

Why all companies should address human rights (and how the Business & Human Rights Resource Centre can help)

Author: Christopher Avery, Annabel Short, Gregory Tzeutschler Regaignon - Business & Human Rights Resource Centre

[this chapter appears in the the ICCA Handbook on CSR and Corporate Culture; a list of chapters in the handbook and ordering details can be found at http://www.cca-institute.org/handbook.html] The following sections set out why human rights are relevant to all companies, and why it is important that all companies take human rights seriously. i. International standards require companies to address human rights... ii. Only human rights provide companies with a framework of globally recognised principles... iii. There are increasing expectations for companies to manage human rights issues... iv. There are significant risks for companies that don’t respect human rights... v. Companies benefit from taking a proactive stance on human rights... vi. Human rights are universal standards that go beyond national laws... [refers to ABB, adidas-Salomon, Anglo American, Barclays, BHP Billiton, Body Shop, BP, BT, Cape PLC, Carrefour, Chiquita, Chevron/Texaco, Coca-Cola, Co-operative Financial Services, ExxonMobil, Ford, Gap, Hewlett-Packard, ING, McDonald’s, MTV Networks Europe, National Grid, Nike, Novartis, Novo Nordisk, Occidental, Premier Oil, Rio Tinto, Shell, Statoil, Taco Bell (part of YUM!), Talisman Energy, Union Carbide/Dow, Unocal, Wal-Mart]

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Article
1 August 2006

BP, Suncor, and Shell Top Oil Sector Sustainability Rating; Chevron and ExxonMobil Rank Low

Author: Bill Baue, SocialFunds.com

Toronto-based socially responsible investing (SRI) research firm Jantzi Research recently released a report entitled Oil and Gas in a Bull Market: The Shifting Sands of Responsibility that rates and ranks 23 oil and gas companies on their social and environmental performance. UK-based BP topped the list...with second through fourth places going to Canada-based Suncor Energy, Nexen and Petro-Canada respectively, and UK-based Shell rounding out the top five...Chevron ranks the highest of the US-based companies...followed by Burlington Resources [part of ConocoPhilips]...Marathon Oil...and ExxonMobil...

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Article
1 March 2006

[PDF] Corporate Action Network Magazine

Author: Amnesty International USA

[articles include:]
- Marking the anniversary of the Bhopal chemical disaster [re Union Carbide (part of Dow Chemical)]
- Commemorating the lives and activism of the Ogoni-9
- Strategies to hold companies accountable - voluntary initiatives are only the first step
- Voluntary Principles – some companies make progress while others lose ground [Chevron, ExxonMobil]
- Protecting the law that protects the victims of corporate abuses [US Alien Tort Claims Act]
- Oil on Water: Human Rights and the Pursuit of Profit in Nigeria [re: Chevron]
- Help companies change – Build support for new human rights resolutions at Chevron and Dow
[also refers to ExxonMobil, Unocal (part of Chevron), Wal-Mart, Texaco (part of Chevron), Leggett & Platt, Home Depot, Wells Fargo]

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Article
1 January 2006

Chevron fights rights abuse allegations

Author: Terence Chea, Associated Press

The haunting images displayed in a photo exhibit at San Francisco City Hall claim to document the devastating effects of more than three decades of oil extraction in Ecuador's Amazon rainforest... Humberto Piaguaje...blames [Chevron] for sickening his people and poisoning his homeland. He's one of 30,000 plaintiffs in a class-action lawsuit that alleges San Ramon-based Chevron Corp. failed to clean up billions of gallons of toxic waste dumped in pristine rainforest in Ecuador... Chevron, one of the world's largest oil companies, has denied human rights and environmental violations in the 180 countries where it operates, but allegations of abuse threaten its public image around the world... Investors don't appear to be worried... Fadel Gheit, a senior energy analyst at Oppenheimer & Co., believes the company will likely win both cases [the Ecuador case and a US case related to alleged complicity in human rights abuses in Nigeria], and if they are forced to compensate victims, the payments won't be big enough to affect the bottom line. "It's nothing but background noise," Gheit said. But critics say the company's troubles in Nigeria and Ecuador are part of a deeper problem. [also refers to Texaco (part of Chevron), PetroEcuador, Talisman, Unocal (part of Chevron)]

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Article
3 November 2005

full report: "Ten years on: injustice and violence haunt the oil Delta"

Author: Amnesty International

[refers to Chevron, Shell, Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation (NNPC), Nigerian Agip Oil Company (NAOC) (joint venture Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation, ENI, ConocoPhillips)]

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Article
1 October 2005

[DOC] Regulations for Corporations: A historical account of TNC regulation

Author: Désirée Abrahams

This paper has aimed to give a contemporary history of the regulation of transnational corporations...[refers to Ford, General Motors, IBM, Pepsi Cola (now PepsiCo), United Fruit Company (now Chiquita), International Telephone and Telegraph Company (ITT) (present-day ITT Industries was one of the companies that emerged when ITT split up), Shell, Unilever, Danone, Altria, Thor, Rio Tinto, Cape Plc, Cambior, BHP Billiton, Freeport-McMoran, Chevron, Unocal, Body Shop, Ben & Jerry's (part of Unilever), Novartis]

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Article
6 September 2005

[DOC] [course syllabus / reading list] Human Rights Issues for International Organizations [includes many sections focusing on business & human rights]

Author: Curt Goering, Senior Deputy Executive Director, Amnesty International USA

[the following sections of the syllabus focus on business & human rights issues]
Week 3: How Human Rights Issues Affect Business Operations: Recent and Current Examples (Session I)
Week 4: How Human Rights Issues Affect Business Operations: Recent and Current Examples (Session II)
Week 5: Business Organizations and Human Rights
Week 6: The Case of Iraq and Afghanistan
Week 8: NGO/Business Collaboration
Week 9: How Human Rights Issues Affect Business Operations: Recent and Current Examples (Session III)
Week 10: Accountability

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Article
19 August 2005

Chevron stands accused - did the oil giant pay troops who killed Nigerian villagers?

Author: Sam Bond, Edie News

American oil giant Chevron has found itself embroiled in an ugly legal battle as Nigerians saying the company was behind military attacks on their villages take their claim to the courts. Chevron has vehemently denied the villagers' claims and argues the facts have been grossly distorted.

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Article
18 August 2005

Chevron sees few faults in new report

Author: Rick Jurgens, Contra Costa Times [USA]

Chevron Corp. has for the third consecutive year looked in the mirror to examine its impact on its employees, neighbors and the environment. Not surprisingly, the company once again liked what it saw...Of course, the devil is in the details...in recent years, the...oil giant has been bedeviled by critics of its human rights and environmental policy.

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Article
16 August 2005

Lack of Human Rights Policy Concerns Chevron Shareowners in Light of Unocal Merger

Author: William Baue, SocialFunds

The 2002 Chevron Corporate Responsibility Report stated the company had "developed a draft Human Rights Statement" and that it sought to "revise and finalize the statement and begin corporate-wide implementation in 2004." "As of now, Chevron has not published its human rights statement nor disclosed its timeline for implementing a human rights policy," writes AFL-CIO Secretary-Treasurer Richard Trumka in a July 22, 2005 letter to Chevron CEO and Board Chair David O'Reilly...In a July 28 response letter, Chevron Board Vice Chair Peter Robertson discloses a timeline, but he does not answer the question.

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