US judge rejects Chevron's appeal to block collection of $18 billion damages by Ecuadorean plaintiffs in environmental pollution case

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Article
10 January 2012

[radio] Chevron's $18 Billion Ecuador Liability: What Happens Next?

Author: KQED Radio

Last week an Ecuadoran appeals court upheld an $18 billion ruling against San Ramon-based oil giant Chevron for pollution and ill health effects caused in the country's rainforest. The decades-old damage stemmed from oil exploration by Texaco, which Chevron bought in 2000.Lawyers on both sides of the lawsuit clashed yesterday on KQED Radio's Forum program. Also on the program was Patrick Radden Keefe, an author and journalist who has written a piece on the case appearing in the latest issue of The New Yorker...On Forum...Radden Keefe explained the difficulty plaintiffs would have in trying to collect, and also where the case might go from here: The catch is the plaintiffs could start collecting, in theory, but Chevron doesn't have any assets in Ecuador. So the plaintiffs will have to go to other places around the world and say there's this judgment that you need to respect, and in theory they can try to repossess Chevron's assets in those countries.

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Article
6 January 2012

So much for Plan B: Kaplan denies Chevron attachment motion

Author: Alison Frankel, Reuters

I highlighted the unusual pre-trial attachment motion-which Chevron filed in November in its Manhattan federal court racketeering suit against the Ecuadoreans and some of their lawyers and experts-as a way for the oil company to effect, in essence, the same enforcement ban the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Second Circuit lifted in September. Faced with an Ecuadorean lawyer's threats that he plans to launch worldwide actions to enforce the now-affirmed $18 billion judgment, Chevron renewed its request that U.S. District Judge Lewis Kaplan of Manhattan federal district court issue a temporary restraining order barring the Ecuadorean plaintiffs "from assigning, alienating, transferring, encumbering or otherwise dispersing their interest in the fraudulent Ecuadorean judgment, or otherwise collecting proceeds."On Friday Kaplan said no -at least for now...[T]he judge denied Chevron's attachment motion, concluding that the oil company hadn't sufficiently specified its alleged damages, aside from citing the $18 billion Ecuadorean judgment.

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Article
6 January 2012

[PDF] Chevron Corporation v Steven Donziger et al - Memorandum Opinion

Author: United States District Court Southern District of New York

Chevron has put in no proof of any damages in support of its motion for an order of attachment except the fact and the amount of the Judgment. But it has not established that it has paid any part of the Judgment. The amount of the Judgment therefore is not a measure of any damages that it has suffered to date.9 In these circumstances, Chevron has not demonstrated a likelihood of recovering any specific amount of damages. This is not to say that Chevron is unlikely to prevail on its claim that the Judgment was procured by fraud or is unenforceable for other reasons. It is not to say that Chevron’s ability to enforce any damages judgment it may secure in this case would not be frustrated by transfers of the sort that it here seeks effectively to prevent. Nor is it to say that Chevron could not make out a sufficient case for some order of attachment, now or in the future. It is to say only that an order of attachment is not available on the present showing because Chevron has not established a likelihood of recovery in any specific amount.

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Author: Sala única de la corte provincial de justicia de Sucumbíos

Por el escrito de apelación del 17 de febrero del 2011, el Ab. Pablo Fajardo, en su calidad de Procurador Común de los que son parte sustancial del juicio -los actores -apeló de la sentencia parcialmente condenatoria emitida el 14 de febrero del 2011 en el nivel inferior, contrayendo su recurso a los aspectos que se indican seguidamente: A) Las pérctidas económicas que los demandantes afirman en primera persona; B) Daños de los territorios ancestrales de los nativos indígenas de la zona; y, C) Daños provenientes del regado de crudo en las vías, por parte de Texaco [parte de Chevron], así como de daños a otras estructuras y terrenos.

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Article
3 January 2012

[PDF] Provincial Court of Justice of Sucumbios [Appeals court decision in Chevron case, English translation]

Author: Provincial Court of Justice of Sucumbios [Ecuador]

In the appeal submitted on February 17, 2011, Pablo Fajardo, Attorney-at-law, in his capacity as Legal Representative of the essential parties to this legal action, the plaintiffs, appealed the partial judgment issued on February 14, 2011 by the lower court, limiting its appeal to the aspects listed below: A) The economic losses that the plaintiffs claim to have suffered; B) Damages to ancestral lands of the native indigenous peoples of the area; and, C) Damages from oil spills on the roadways attributable to Texaco, as well as damage to other structures and lands. These are the plaintiffs’ main points of disagreement.

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