The lawsuit has been going on for 17 years, and in the latest outcome of the case, an Ecuador appeals court denied Chevron Corp.’s effort to overturn the $18 billion judgment that was handed down February 14, 2010.
The original case was filed in 1993 by lawyers from the Amazon Defense Coalition for 48 plaintiffs representing an estimated 30,000 Natives and mestizo (mixed-race) farmers affected by the pollution according to a February Indian Country Today Media Network story. At the time of the initial ruling it was reported that the government of Ecuador would have a hard time collecting money form Chevron, because the company isn’t eager to pay for the cleanup and they no longer have assets in the country that could be seized.
In March ICTMN reported Chevron appealed February’s ruling alleging a “pattern of fraud by the plaintiffs’ lawyers, supporters and others that has corrupted the trial, as well as the numerous legal and factual defects in the judgment.”
According to an article on Businessweek’s website, the “adverse ruling” upholding the lower-court judgment was issued by a panel of three judges in the Provincial Court of Justice of Sucumbios in Lago Agrio, Ecuador, Chevron said in an e-mailed statement on January 3.
Chevron can also appeal the decision to the next level of Ecuador’s judiciary but is still reviewing the ruling and hasn’t decided what it will do next, according to Kent Robertson, a spokesman for the company in a phone interview with Businessweek.