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2 Feb 2011

Lawrence Hurley, New York Times

Chevron's RICO Lawsuit in Pollution Case Part of Wider Legal Strategy

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Chevron Corp.'s racketeering suit…against the legal team seeking damages for pollution in Ecuador is likely part of a wider strategy aimed at helping the oil giant reach a more favorable settlement, according to legal experts…The Chevron suit alleges that the case against the corporation in Ecuador is a conspiracy to commit extortion… Although the underlying case is being heard in Ecuador, what happens in U.S. court matters. Chevron no longer has assets in Ecuador, which means if the plaintiffs win they would have to enforce the judgment in other courts…From Chevron's perspective, the RICO action "might provide a basis to resist enforcement of the judgment" in U.S. courts, [defense lawyer David] Smith said.