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Ecuador: New evidence of fraud found in Chevron veredict, Company drop lawsuit against Steven Donziger


Chevron HQ in San Ramon, Calif.

CARACAS, Apr 25, 2011

Chevron Corporation (NYSE: CVX) has filed an amended complaint in its lawsuit in federal court in New York seeking to block enforcement and recognition of a judgment entered against the company in Lago Agrio, Ecuador.  The amended complaint cites newly discovered evidence that the Lago Agrio plaintiffs' lawyers and consultants, at a minimum, provided clandestine assistance to the Ecuadorian court in drafting the judgment against Chevron.

Through its U.S. discovery efforts, Chevron has obtained previously private files belonging to the Lago Agrio plaintiffs' lawyers and their co-conspirators.  These files contain numerous and unique errors, large and small, and the same errors and irregularities now appear in the Ecuadorian court's judgment despite never having been entered into the trial record.

"There is no apparent explanation as to how the judgment would have incorporated these errors and irregularities without cooperation between the Ecuadorian court and the plaintiffs' representatives," stated R. Hewitt Pate, Chevron vice president and general counsel.  "This is another instance of the fraud and corruption that have permeated the Ecuadorian judicial proceedings."

In addition, Chevron dropped a charge from their racketeering lawsuit against an attorney who helped engineer an environmental case that resulted in an $18 billion judgment against the company in Ecuador, filling a proposed amended complaint on Thursday that removes attorney Steven Donziger as a party to one of the counts.

According to Court News Services, Kent Robertson, Chevron's spokesman, said Chevron dropped the charge based on "some observations that Judge Kaplan made in prior orders."

"The people who own the judgment are the named plaintiffs," Robertson said. "The [Ecuadorean] plaintiffs, or the Frente, could use any attorney on the planet, but Donziger doesn't have a dog in that fight. ... Donziger and his chosen counsel will have every opportunity to explain his misconduct."

Hinton was incredulous about Chevron's explanation in a phone interview.

"Chevron is accusing Steven Donzinger of orchestrating the fraud that would lead to the judgment not being enforceable," Hinton said, adding, "He doesn't have a dog in that fight?"

Chevron is one of the world's leading integrated energy companies, with subsidiaries that conduct business worldwide.  The company is involved in virtually every facet of the energy industry. Chevron is based in San Ramon, Calif. 

More information on the Ecuador litigation can be found at and The Chevron Pit

Sources: Chevron Corp / Courthouse News Service

Story from Petroleumworld / Monday, April 25, 2011


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