Get the latest Chevron Ecuador lawsuit news. This category covers recent 2015 lawsuit news and the latest on Steven Donziger, the attorney that used corrupt means to obtain a 2011 court verdict in Ecuador.
Over 25 years ago, Texaco Petroleum (“TexPet”) operated a consortium along with an Ecuadorian state-owned company, Petroecuador. In connection with its exit from that country in 1992, TexPet entered into a number of Settlement-and-Release Agreements with the government of Ecuador, under which the government agreed to release TexPet from all liability for various environmental claims in exchange for TexPet’s remediation of the area. TexPet funded the remediation, which the government of Ecuador supervised and confirmed in a 1998 release agreement. [Petroecuador continued, however, to operate and exploit the area, likely causing the environmental troubles that remain.] Notwithstanding these agreements, in May 2003 a group of individuals in Lago Agrio, Ecuador, sued Chevron (the acquirer of TexPet) for damage allegedly caused by TexPet. Read more>>
An attorney who was suspended from practicing law after it was determined that he and his partners had been complicit in acts of “coercion, fraud and bribery” is still profiting from a judgment he obtained against Chevron in Ecuador, according to court filings. Read more>>
Attorney Steven Donziger was the toast of Hollywood, environmentalists, and activists for bringing a case against Texaco (now Chevron) for what he termed an “Amazon Chernobyl” of pollution caused by the oil company in Lago Agrio, Ecuador, in the heart of the Ecuadorian Amazon. He won a $19 billion verdict against Texaco in Ecuador (meanwhile PetroEcuador, the true cause of the environmental damage and subsequent oil spills, has managed to emerge without a single fine, lawsuit, or protest against it). Read more>>
It sounds like a gathering of the angels. Some of Canada’s top environmentalists are in Banff, Alta. this weekend alongside academics, leading legal minds and First Nations leaders to discuss indigenous rights and the environment. Too bad their starting point has been found to be a a corrupt scam. The “Indigenous Solutions for Environmental Challenges” conference will feature luminaries such as David Suzuki, Roger Waters of Pink Floyd fame and former chief of the Assembly of First Nations Phil Fontaine. They plan to discuss a long running court case out of Ecuador and its impact on Indigenous rights and the environment around the world. The case in question is called Aguinda v. Chevron, a lawsuit brought against the multi-national oil company over claims of environmental damage dating back decades. It was a class action lawsuit was launched in Equador in 1993 against Chevron alleging the multinational oil firm, which bought oil fields developed earlier by Texaco, polluted Ecuadorian rivers and rain forests and caused environmental and health damage to local farmers and indigenous tribesmen. In 2011, an Ecuadorian judge ordered Chevron to pay the claimants $18 billion, though on appeal that judgment was reduced to $9.5 billion. Eventually, the case landed before the United States Court of Appeals, which determined the $9.5 billion judgment against Chevron was corrupt, that the claims of environmental damage had been inflated and the judgment had been achieved through “coercion, bribery, money laundering and other misconduct.” One of the lawyers behind the case, New York City based Steven Donziger, is an invited speaker at the Banff conference this weekend. I’m not sure I should actually call Donziger a lawyer anymore since he had his licence pulled by the State of New York earlier this year for “professional misconduct” due to coercion, fraud and bribery in the very case this conference is discussing. Read more>>
“Indigenous Solutions for Environmental Challenges,” the conference’s “context” is the US$8.6 billion (at last count) judgment in an Ecuadorean court against U.S. oil company Chevron. According to the conference’s website, the Chevron case will be used “to consider the critical role of judicial remedies for violations of the rights of indigenous and other affected peoples… both in Canada and beyond.” With the Trans Mountain pipeline expansion on judicial hold, and capital evacuating the Canadian oil patch due to legislative uncertainties, the topic is timely. But if “hard cases make bad law,” then corrupt cases threaten very bad law indeed. Read more>>
There’s a headline you probably didn’t see coming, huh? Over the past several years we’ve written extensively about the failed Chevron Shakedown and how New York attorney Steven Donziger fell from grace in a corrupt attempt to pick the pockets of Chevron to the tune of billions of dollars. That story is pretty much over, with the case having been declared a product of fraud around the globe and Donziger losing his licenses to practice law anywhere in the country. Read more>>
A rock star, an aide to Andrew Cuomo, journalists, and Ecuadoran government officials had stakes in a shakedown of the oil company. It almost worked. The slow unraveling of the case against Chevron has been eye-opening, not least for the glimpse it offers into the way money moves through the progressive activist world. Read more>>
Attorneys for Chevron on Oct. 24 asked the U.S. District Court for the Southern District of New York to hold disbarred attorney Steven R. Donziger in contempt for his alleged continued efforts to personally profit off a pollution scam in the South American country of Ecuador. The case spans over 20 years and began with Donziger being hailed as an environmental champion by environmentalists and the news media. More recently, the legal battle morphed into a different image: An alleged crooked attorney willing to do virtually anything to squeeze money out of a corporate oil giant. Read more>>
On October 14 this column summarized a contempt of court motion filed by Chevron Corp. against Steven Donziger, the mastermind of an effort to sue Chevron that has been found to be massively fraudulent in the United States and abroad. The October 14 column noted that much of Chevron’s contempt motion was redacted, pending review by United States District Judge Lewis Kaplan. The non-redacted portions themselves were highly revealing, however.
Chevron Corp. has asked a New York federal judge for strong sanctions against attorney Steven Donziger, saying he has been selling interests in a fraudulent $9.5 billion judgment in Ecuador over pollution in the Amazon for his own gain despite court judgments prohibiting him from profiting from the judgment. Read more>>
This column has provided a detailed history of the attempt to extort billions from Chevron. This effort, ostensibly meant to benefit Ecuadorean nationals who were most likely injured by an Ecuadorean state corporation, failed lamentably. Conspirators attempted in vain to enforce in the US, Canada, Brazil, Argentina, and Gibraltar the fraudulent judgment they obtained against Chevron in Ecuador. An exhaustive review by renowned federal judge Lewis A Kaplan in the Southern District of New York found that Steven Donziger, the spearhead of the suit against Chevron, engaged in multiple acts of racketeering. An international arbitration panel has forbidden efforts to enforce the Ecuadorean judgment elsewhere. And Donziger has been suspended from the Bar in New York State and in the District of Columbia, which as far as I know are the only jurisdictions where he was authorized to practice law. Read more>>
While the years-long tale of the Chevron Shakedown has mostly drawn to a close (with Chevron as the clear winner and the would-be conspirators being the losers), there was another interesting development in the story last month. You likely recall the New York attorney who helped mastermind the entire scheme, working in concert with corrupt judges and government officials in Ecuador. His name is Steven Donziger. He assembled the army of environmental activists who joined in on the assault, as well as the herd of “investors” who put up money to cover the costs of bringing the suit with the expectation of receiving a cut of the haul when Chevron paid them off. Read more>>