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Chevron urges arbitration in $27 bln Ecuador case

Chevron Corp urged a federal appeals court not to force it into Ecuador's courts to defend a $27.4 billion lawsuit alleging its oilfields polluted the Amazon rainforest and sickened thousands of Ecuadorians. Lawyers for Chevron contended the…Court of Appeals in New York should instead uphold a lower court ruling in March allowing the…oil company to take the 17-year-old case into international arbitration. Ecuadorian farmers and indigenous residents accused Texaco, which Chevron bought in 2001, of making residents ill and damaging forestry and rivers through the discharge of some 18 billion gallons of toxic water into the rainforest…But lawyers for Ecuador and the residents said the matter should be tried in the Ecuadorian town of Lago Agrio. [also refers to Petroecuador]

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