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Ontario Court of Appeal Overturns Security for Costs Order in Yaiguaje v. Chevron Corporation

The Ontario Court of Appeal has overturned the decision of the motion judge who ordered that the foreign-resident plaintiffs post approximately $1M in security for costs in order to continue their proceeding and appeal against Chevron Corporation (“Chevron”) and Chevron Canada...[T]he motion’s judge decision...called into question whether the plaintiffs would be in a position to proceed with their appeal of Justice Hainey’s decision dismissing the proceeding against Chevron Canada on the basis that its assets are not available to satisfy the plaintiffs’ foreign judgment against Chevron...The plaintiffs appealed this decision to a three-member panel...The Panel determined that in this case, the unique circumstances required that there be no order for security for costs.  These unique circumstances are as follows: The matter is public interest litigation.  Funds from judgment will go into a trust for use in environmental rehabilitation and health care...[T]here was no doubt that environmental devastation to the plaintiffs’ lands severely hampered their ability to earn a livelihood...The Panel made explicit reference to the fact that the plaintiffs were pursuing novel arguments to pierce the corporate veil, alluding to the potential for modifications and revisions to the common law...

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