The Second U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals in New York has lifted an injunction that froze payments from Chevron to Ecuadoreans collecting damages for pollution, the BBC reports.
Over a 20-year period, from 1972 to 1992, Texaco dumped more than 18 billion gallons of toxic material into unlined pits and rivers in Ecuador, according to indigenous groups. An Ecuadorean court ruled in February that Chevron (which merged with Texaco in 2001), was to pay $18.2 billion to those affected. Chevron fought back, declaring the verdict fraudulent, and a New York court ruled to block collection of the fines.
The original suit was brought by 30,000 Ecuadoreans. Chevron vows to continue fighting, saying in an official statement that “Chevron remains confident that once the full facts are examined, the fraudulent judgment will be found unenforceable and those who procured it will be required to answer for their misconduct.”