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Reuters – Witness claims U.S. lawyer used inflated estimate in Chevron case

Date: Oct 17, 2013

A U.S. lawyer used inflated estimates to pursue what eventually became an $18 billion pollution judgment against Chevron Corp (CVX.N) in Ecuador, despite warnings that the numbers were “wildly inaccurate,” his former consultant said on Thursday.

The consultant was called as a witness in federal court in New York by Chevron, which claims that lawyer Steven Donziger used fraud to obtain the judgment from an Ecuadorean court in 2011 on behalf of a group of villagers.

David Russell said Donziger asked him in 2003 to assess what Donziger said was widespread pollution at an Ecuadorean oil field that had been operated by Texaco. Texaco was acquired by Chevron in 2001.