Fortune profiles the latest news in the Chevron Ecuador lawsuit, including videos that have recently come to light which show fraud being committed by the plaintiffs:
A lawsuit against Chevron in Ecuador, which has become a cause célèbre for environmentalists worldwide, has suffered severe, crippling setbacks in recent months, as key plaintiffs lawyers have come under credible and weighty allegations of fraud.
The accusations threaten to disrupt yet again a protracted, bitter, emotional, 17-year-old suit filed on behalf of Indians of the Ecuadorian Amazon who seek environmental clean-up of lands where Texaco-acquired by Chevron (CVX, Fortune 500) in 2001-drilled for oil between 1965 and 1990.
Over the past ten months, Chevron’s outside lawyers at Gibson, Dunn & Crutcher have filed 11 civil actions in federal courts across the United States, each designed to pull back the curtain on what they say is an elaborate, two-year-long charade in which plaintiffs lawyers covertly planned and ghostwrote a crucial report on damages that was ostensibly being authored by an independent expert appointed as an “auxiliary” to the Ecuadorian court. The expert’s final report, issued in November 2008, recommended that Chevron pay the plaintiffs $27.3 billion.