Product Liability Monitor – Chevron Ecuadorian Litigation Update: Plaintiffs’ Claim of Judicial Estoppel Denied
More on the federal judge’s ruling in the Chevron Ecuador case regarding the integrity of Ecuador’s judiciary:
Texaco’s argument that Ecuador provided an adequate alternative forum was evaluated at the time the arugment was made, which was between 1993 and 2001. Chevron has argued that, regardless of the sufficiency of Ecuador’s legal system previously, due to events that occurred in 2004 and after, Ecuador’s legal system does not provide impartial tribunals or procedures compatible with due process of law. Based on his previous ruling at the preliminary injunction stage that Chevron was likely to prevail on these claims, Judge Kaplan held that Chevron’s position was not inconsistent with – much less “materially inconsistent with” – the previous position taken by Texaco in the Aguinda litigation. As a result, Judge Kaplan held that even if Texaco’s position could be attributed to Chevron – which he ruled they could not – the Ecuadorian plaintiffs’ estoppel claims should still be dismissed.