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18 Apr 2011

Adam Klasfeld, Courthouse News Service [USA]

Ecuadoreans Must Defend $18B Award at Nov. Trial

A trial will begin late this fall to determine the enforceability of an $18.6 billion judgment that an Ecuadorean court slapped against Chevron in February, a federal judge ruled. A group of Ecuadorean natives say Chevron should pay to remediate environmental damage caused by its subsidiary, Texaco, during decades of drilling in the Amazonian rainforest…Chevron…condemned the proceedings [in Ecuador] as fraudulent…In Manhattan,…U.S. District Judge Lewis Kaplan issued an injunction blocking collection of the judgment… A month after filing in Feb. 1, Chevron asked Kaplan to bifurcate, or hold a separate trial on, a claim that seeks a declaration that the Ecuadorean judgment is unenforceable…In a 22-page opinion on Friday, Kaplan granted Chevron's motion to hold an earlier trial on enforceability issues.