In the latest chapter of the Chevron Ecuador lawsuit, the American oil company is moving closer to legal victory, particularly over its main attacker, Steven Donziger.
Donziger has long claimed that Chevron was responsible for oil pollution in Ecuador’s Amazon region, even though the state-run Petroeucador was the principal owner of the consortium that produced oil there between 1968 and 1992, and was partnered with Texaco Oil Company, and not Chevron. Chevron acquired Texaco in 2001.
First, recently, an international arbitration panel based in the Hague ruled in favor of Chevron, stating that it was not liable for environmental damage in Ecuador’s Amazon region.
Second, Chevron secured the services of legendary lawyer Ted Olson in the Steven Donziger “Writ of Mandamus” case where Steven Donziger was claiming that, legal technical terms simplified, Judge Lewis Kaplan was biased for Chevron and lacked the proper jurisdiction to block Ecuador’s collection of the $19 billion judgment its own court handed down against the American oil company.
The Writ of Mandamus was denied, meaning that Judge Kaplan lives on to preside over the case involving Steven Donziger that starts in October.
This is a major win in that Judge Kaplan had issued an injunction stopping Ecuador from seeking damage collection from Chevron assets anywhere in the World. Judge Kaplan’s rationale was that Steven Donziger’s case against Chevron was based on fraudulent tactics, and the Ecuador Court’s ruling against Chevron, fining it $19 billion, was derived in a way not unlike a kangaroo court.
In 2012, The 2nd Circuit ruled that Judge Kaplan lacked the authority to issue such an edict, and it stopped the injunction trial in its tracks, allowing Ecuador to go about the task of Chevron asset seizure.
Now, Judge Kaplan has it back.