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Second Circuit Denies En Banc Rehearing on $8.6B Pollution Case Against Chevron – New York Law Journal

Date: Nov 1, 2016

The U.S. Court of Appeals for the Second Circuit has rejected a petition seeking rehearing en banc of its decision in the case over allegations of environmental damage caused by an oil company later absorbed by Chevron Corp.

The circuit denied the request of attorney Steven Donziger to have the full court rehear his appeal from Judge Lewis Kaplan’s decision blocking enforcement of an $8.6 billion judgment against Chevron for water and soil contamination in Ecuador allegedly caused by Texaco, a predecessor to Chevron.

Kaplan had found the judgment was procured by bribery, coercion and fraud and he imposed a constructive trust for Chevron’s benefit on any property Donziger and his clients obtained that is traceable to the judgment.

A circuit panel affirmed in August and Donziger attempted to win rehearing en banc on what he argued was an “unprecedented authorization of a pre-emptive collateral attack on a foreign money judgment,” that runs contrary to binding precedent and was bound to cause friction between legal systems.

The circuit denied rehearing in a one-line order captioned Chevron v. Donziger, 14-0826.