Ecuador’s High Court Upholds $9.5 Billion in Damages Against Chevron

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Ecuador’s top court stood by a ruling on Tuesday that levied $9.5 billion in damages against the massive multinational oil company Chevron, for its decades of pollution that harmed both the environment and indigenous Ecuadorians.

It was a token ruling, though, as Chevron no longer has pulled all of its assets and business out of the South American company years ago. To acquire the damages, the plaintiffs, which include indigenous people, will have to continue to pursue its case in international courts.

The court case was originally launched against Texaco for their oil operations in Ecuador from 1964 to 1990 that led to environmental damage to the country’s protected rainforests. Chevron acquired Texaco in 2001 and became liable for the damages.

Chevron denies any wrongdoing and refused to settle the case out of court, stating that the damage was perpetrated by the government-run oil company Petroecuador, which had a consortium with Texaco at the time.

The plaintiffs who sued Chevron, say that during Texaco’s drilling, toxic chemicals contaminated the water and soil that 30,000 indigenous people relied on to survive.

The attempts made by the indigenous plaintiffs to sue Chevron in a wide variety of other countries where the oil company still does business has been unsuccessful. The only other country where the case is still in progress is in Canada.

Read the full story here.

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