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28 Apr 2009

Juan Forero, Washington Post

In Ecuador, High Stakes in Case Against Chevron

Wearing a straw hat for the recent outdoor hearing, Pablo Fajardo…deliver[ed] the final arguments in a lawsuit that began in New York in 1993 against Texaco but is wrapping up here against Chevron, which bought Texaco in 2001. The stakes are high…If the judge rules against Chevron, the company could face the largest damages award ever handed down in an environmental case…A report by a court-appointed team…concluded that pollution caused mainly by Texaco's Ecuadoran affiliate…had led to 1,401 cancer deaths... The team's leader…assessed damages at up to $27.3 billion…Chevron argues that Texaco complied with Ecuadoran law…A cornerstone of its defense is that Ecuador's government relieved Texaco of responsibility after the $40 million, three-year cleanup…Chevron also blames Texaco's successor and former partner, Petroecuador...