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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
30 November 2004

[PDF] The Changing Landscape of Liability - A Director’s Guide to Trends in Corporate Environmental, Social and Economic Liability

Author: SustainAbility

[refers to Phillip Morris (part of Altria), McDonald's, Nestlé, Nike, Unocal, Ford, Shell, Monsanto, ExxonMobil, Dow Chemical, Union Carbide (part of Dow Chemical), Talisman, Walt Disney, Swiss Re, General Motors, General Electric, Texaco (part of ChevronTexaco), Chevron (part of ChevronTexaco), Gap, Southern Peru Copper (joint venture Grupo México, Cerro Trading, Phelps Dodge), Coca-Cola, Rio Tinto, Freeport McMoRan, Del Monte (Fresh Del Monte Produce), Dyncorp (part of Computer Sciences), Barclays, Cape plc, Mitsubishi, Total, Burger King, KFC (part of YUM!), Kraft Foods (part of Altria), PepsiCo]

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Article
1 October 2004

[PDF] Oil and Human Rights

Author: Sir Geoffrey Chandler, Founder-Chair, Amnesty International UK Business Group 1991-2001 and a former Director of Shell International, in Oil, Gas & Energy Law Intelligence (OGEL)

The growth of oil wealth in many developing countries has fuelled the ability of governments to invest in armaments, to engage in the construction of buildings for prestige rather than utility, and to transform small-scale corruption into personal or political gain on a scale hitherto undreamt of at the cost of social equity and political stability...Protection of human rights now lies at the core of security of supply. [refers to Shell, BP, Statoil, Norsk Hydro, ChevronTexaco, ExxonMobil, Talisman, Unocal]

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Article
1 October 2004

[PDF] Oil, Gas & Energy Law Intelligence [OGEL] - Special Feature on Corporate Social Responsibility

Author: Christine Batruch (Lundin Petroleum) & Ayesha Dias (UNDP), eds., in Oil, Gas & Energy Law Intelligence [OGEL]

[special issue of OGEL with articles on human rights, environmental and development impacts of oil & gas sector, including discussion of numerous codes and principles] [refers to Shell, BP, Statoil, Norsk Hydro, ChevronTexaco, ExxonMobil, Talisman, Unocal]

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Article
29 September 2004

Oil firm reports on its record: ChevronTexaco says spills are down, but gas emissions up

Author: Bernadette Tansey, San Francisco Chronicle

ChevronTexaco Corp. gave itself a mix of grades as a global citizen in its second annual Corporate Responsibility Report, a voluntary report card the oil giant generates to judge its impact on the international environment, workforce and community...However, Professor Terry Lynn Karl, a Stanford University political scientist, said the report fails to address what the company should do to calm political strife that can be traced in part to the failure of oil companies to promptly address grievances over environmental destruction and other effects of their operations.

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Article
9 August 2004

Nigeria's Petroleum Industry Reeling

Author: Glenn McKenzie, Associated Press

Nigeria's oil industry - Africa's largest and the fifth-biggest source of U.S. oil imports - is concerned for its future. A yearlong spree of bloodletting has killed more than 1,000 people in the Niger Delta...Tensions over oil revenues have aggravated ethnic strife. [refers to ChevronTexaco, Shell]

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Article
1 August 2004

The questions over aiding and abetting

Author: Jonathan Birchall, Financial Times

Does a group of Burmese villagers have the right to take legal action in the US against a US oil company over alleged complicity in murder and forced labour in their home country? Unocal, the oil company, will shortly resume its efforts to persuade a federal appeals court in California that they do not...Lawyers representing the Burmese villagers in the Unocal case believe the complaints - of complicity in acts of murder, forced labour and rape - will be sufficient to bring the case to trial. [refers also to cases against ExxonMobil, Talisman, Shell, ChevronTexaco]

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Article
26 July 2004

U.S. Courts Tackle Foreign Abuses - Energy corporations question 'law of nations'

Author: Jennifer Huang, newsdesk.org

A 215-year-old law originally written to address piracy and crimes abroad against American ambassadors is at the heart of litigation targeting some of the world's largest energy corporations...a recent Supreme Court ruling may have left the door open for the suits to proceed. [refers to ExxonMobil, ChevronTexaco, Unocal, Shell]

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Article
30 June 2004

[PDF] full report: "In Our Court: ATCA, Sosa and the Triumph of Human Rights"

Author: EarthRights International

This report seeks to summarize the history, jurisprudence and politics of ATCA in order to explain how this relatively obscure law became a lightning rod in the world of business and human rights...[refers to Unocal, Chevron (part of ChevronTexaco), ExxonMobil, Freeport-McMoRan, Shell, Texaco (part of ChevronTexaco), Total, Halliburton, Talisman, United Technologies, Price Waterhouse (now PricewaterhouseCoopers), Coca-Cola, Tidewater, Fresh Del Monte Produce, Southern Peru Copper (joint venture Grupo México, Cerro Trading, Phelps Dodge), Newmont, DynCorp (part of Computer Sciences), Ford, Union Carbide (part of Dow), Citigroup, UBS, Credit Suisse, Barclays, IBM, General Motors, Westinghouse, Bank of America, Rio Tinto, Pfizer, DaimlerChrysler, Occidental Petroleum, Drummond, Titan, CACI, Eastman Kodak, Paribas (part of BNP Paribas)]

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Article
12 April 2004

Big Business Attacks ATCA in New York Times; ERI's Rebuttal

Author: EarthRights International

Last Friday’s New York Times (April 9, 2004) ran an op-ed page advertisement (“op-ad”) paid for by the National Foreign Trade Council (NFTC), a big business lobby group, that summarizes their opposition to the Alien Tort Claims Act (ATCA), an important human rights law. The op-ad, called “The Business of Human Rights,” is filled with misleading, self-serving arguments.

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Article
1 April 2004

[PDF] Corporate Social Responsibility in the Global Village - Newsletter of the Global CSR Policy Project

Author: Global CSR Policy Project, Frank Hawkins Kenan Institute of Private Enterprise, Washington Center

[PDF] This edition focuses on news stories and new developments in the area of CSR and public policy and global CSR in general...[refers to Shell, Chevron [part of Chevron-Texaco], HP, Nike, Adidas, Reebok, Puma, Fila, ASICS, Mizuno, Lotto, Kappa, Umbro, BP, Nestlé, British American Tobacco, Coca-Cola]

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