Chevron appeals Ecuador damages award
Chevron has filed an appeal against a $8.6 billion damages ruling by an Ecuadorean judge in one of the largest environmental lawsuit judgments ever, a local court official said today.
News wires 10 March 2011 18:14 GMT
A judge in Ecuador’s Amazon in February ruled against Chevron, demanding the company pay for contamination from petroleum drilling in the 1970s and 1980s by Texaco, which was later bought by the US oil giant.
Chevron has denied the accusations and had already said it would appeal the judgment, seen as a test case the oil industry is watching for precedents for other large environmental rulings, Reuters reported.
The 192-page appeal was filed late yesterday to the Sucumbios provincial court in the jungle town of Lago Agrio, a court official said.
No payment can be made during the appeals process, which could drag on for years. Few analysts believe the company will pay anything soon. The ruling had been widely expected.
The appeal is the latest in a 17-year-long legal battle in which rain forest residents argue Texaco, bought by Chevron in 2001, is responsible for hazardous oil-drilling waste.
Chevron says Texaco cleaned all waste for which it was responsible before turning the sites over to state oil company Petroecuador. It says the case is driven more by greedy lawyers than worries over the environment.