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Courthouse News Service – Judge Won’t Recuse Self from Chevron Trial

Date: May 10, 2011

More coverage of this development in the Chevron Ecuador lawsuit. This article includes excerpts from the judge’s opinion, referencing praise he received from the 2nd Circuit for the “exemplary manner in which the able District Judge has discharged his duties” :

A federal judge defended his impartiality in a lawsuit that pits Chevron against the group of Ecuadorean natives it says won an $18 billion judgment through fraud.

U.S. District Judge Lewis Kaplan is presiding over Chevron’s February lawsuit, which accuses the Ecuadoreans and their advocates of trying to procure an extortionate judgment against, or settlement from, the oil giant.

Two weeks after filing, a judge in Lago Agrio, Ecuador, found Chevron liable to the tune of $18.2 billion for massive oil contamination in the Amazon, allegedly caused by Texaco before Chevron acquired that company in 2001.

Chevron says it will not pay, arguing that the state-owned oil refinery is the true culprit, that Texaco was previously released of liability and that the judgment was achieved through a fraud on the courts.

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