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Ecuadorian Plaintiffs Drop $9.5B Lawsuit Against Chevron

Chevron said that a group of Ecuadorian plaintiffs had dismissed their only remaining lawsuit against the U.S. supermajor that sought to enforce a US$9.5-billion judgment over water and land pollution handed in Ecuador in 2011 but exposed by Chevron as having been obtained via corruption.

The group of Ecuadorian plaintiffs ended their Canadian lawsuit against Chevron and agreed to pay costs to Chevron, the U.S. oil firm said in a statement on Monday.

After dismissals of the Ecuadorian plaintiffs’ claims in Argentina and Brazil, and rulings against them in Gibraltar and the United States, Chevron moved to dismiss the Canadian lawsuit.

“The Ecuadorian plaintiffs and their counsel did not oppose Chevron’s motion to dismiss and instead consented to the unconditional and final dismissal of the lawsuit,” the U.S. oil major said.

“Chevron is pleased that the promoters of the fraudulent scheme have apparently realized that no legitimate court would enforce the judgment that they purchased in Ecuador. Chevron will continue its efforts to hold the lawyers and investors behind this fraudulent scheme accountable,” said R. Hewitt Pate, Chevron’s vice president and general counsel.

In April this year, the Supreme Court of Canada refused to hear a request to review a lower court decision, rendering a final verdict that dismissed all claims against Chevron Canada Limited.

Related: China’s Fight Against Pollution To Generate Billions In Extra Solar Income

Back in 2016, a U.S. appeals court blocked the enforcement of the $9.5 billion judgment handed down by an Ecuadorian court against Chevron. The U.S. appeals court supported a lower court ruling in 2014 that found that the case against Chevron, initiated in an Ecuadorean court, was the product of fraud and racketeering, complete with fraudulent evidence and bribery of the Ecuadorean judge.

Undeterred by the two lower court rulings in the United States, the case was submitted to the US Supreme court, which refused to hear the appeal. The plaintiffs also tried their hand in Gibraltar, Brazil, and Argentina, also to no avail. Even the Hague has heard the case. It, too, ruled in Chevron’s favor, saying that the fraudulent Ecuadorian judgment “violates international public policy” and “should not be recognised or enforced by the courts of other States.”

By Tsvetana Paraskova for Oilprice.com

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