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Interview: Lawyer for Ecuadorian community in lawsuit against Chevron over oil pollution explains Canadian court's ruling & next steps

"Ecuadoreans' Legal Fight Against Chevron Continues in Canada", 2 Feb 2017

In 1993, U.S. lawyer Steven Donziger and others filed a lawsuit in New York against Texaco on behalf of Indigenous nationalities and campesino communities in Ecuador’s Amazon whose land and water had been thoroughly contaminated over a 26-year period.  Donziger agreed to answer some questions about this seemingly never-ending but historic legal battle...

...Donziger: The case is a direct challenge to the fossil fuel industry’s environmentally destructive business model which assumes large oil companies can artificially inflate profits by dumping toxic waste in far-flung communities that do not have the money to fight back...

...[A] court in Toronto has just ruled that your clients can try to collect US$12 billion in damages from Chevron in Canada but said that the company’s assets might be off limits due to a technicality...

Donziger: A trial judge ruled that the villagers could go forward and try to seize Chevron’s assets in Canada.  That’s a huge victory for human rights victims worldwide and is consistent with a prior ruling in favour of the villagers by Canada’s Supreme Court.  The judge made a critical mistake, though, in that he ruled that a wholly-owned company subsidiary in Canada called Chevron Canada cannot be seized to pay the debt. We are appealing that part of the ruling...

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