Bloomberg Businessweek profiles the Chevron Ecuador case and recent legal developments in United States:
For a decade, Chevron (CVX) has been embroiled in an epic legal battle in Ecuador over allegations that the country was used as a dumping ground for billions of gallons of toxic drilling waste. In February the plaintiffs, some 30,000 Amazon Indians and peasant farmers, won an $18.2 billion verdict in a provincial Ecuadorean court. Chevron called the case tainted by fraud and vowed to get the verdict nullified.
Six months later the company has made impressive progress toward doing just that. Lawyers for Chevron, the third-largest U.S. corporation in revenues behind Wal-Mart Stores (WMT) and ExxonMobil (XOM), have persuaded a federal judge in New York essentially to put the Ecuadorean court system on trial for corruption. The company is seeking a far-reaching order that would block the plaintiffs from collecting on their judgment in the U.S.—or anywhere else.