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Ecuadorian Villagers lose fight to have Chevron Canada pay US$9.5 billion

Author: Colin Perkel, The Canadian Press via City News (Canada), Published on: 23 May 2018

The Canadian subsidiary of U.S.-based oil giant Chevron Corp. cannot be held liable for a US$9.5-billion award a court in Ecuador ordered against the parent company in favour of Ecuadorian villagers, Ontario’s top court ruled on Wednesday.  Even though the Court of Appeal expressed sympathy for the plight of the Indigenous villagers, it found that ordering Calgary-based Chevron Canada to pay them in what it called a “tragic case” would amount to twisting current laws out of all recognition...[T]he Appeal Court said, Canadian courts must decide cases based on the laws and jurisprudence in place in Canada.  What the villagers argued, the panel said, found no support in either legislation or case law...The Canadian action, which began in 2012, aimed to have Chevron Canada pay even though the villagers alleged no wrongdoing against the company...[T]hey argued Chevron Corp. should not be able to hide behind a subsidiary to avoid its creditors...The villagers were partially successful on appeal in terms of costs.  Hainey had awarded $533,001 to Chevron Canada and $313,283 to Chevron Corp. after rejecting the villagers’ argument that the litigation was in the public interest and, at most, they should only have to pay a nominal amount...

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