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Chevron Slams Canadian Backdoor in $9.5 Billion Pollution Fight

...In a blow to Ecuadorian villagers who contend the company sullied their lands, an Ontario judge last week protected Chevron’s Canadian assets from being seized...That’s a big victory for the second-largest U.S. fossil fuel company, because in 2011 Chevron lost a court case in Ecuador over the question of liability...Judge Glenn Hainey of the Ontario Superior Court of Justice made a sharp distinction between Chevron the parent corporation and Chevron Canada the subsidiary.  Chevron Canada wasn’t the defendant in Ecuador and as a legally separate entity, the judge held, can’t be held responsible for its parent’s liabilities...R. Hewitt Pate, Chevron’s vice president and general counsel, said...“We are confident that any jurisdiction that examines the facts of this case and the misconduct committed by the plaintiffs will find the Ecuadorian judgment illegitimate and unenforceable.”...In a separate part of his Jan. 20 ruling, Judge Hainey said that if somehow the Ecuadorians succeed in moving forward with their action in Canada—for example, if a higher court reversed his finding that the subsidiary should be shielded—then the oil company would be allowed to fight asset seizures by pointing to the evidence of fraud presented in the U.S. racketeering case.  Meanwhile...the plaintiffs have started legal proceedings to enforce the controversial Ecuadorian judgment in both Argentina and Brazil...

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