The Supreme Court of Canada is considering Chevron's request for leave to appeal from
the Court of Appeal decision that allowed Ecuador plaintiffs to try
again to collect their $18 billion pollution judgment in Ontario.
Chevron argues that the case cannot be heard here, because there is
no connection between the parties, the issues and Ontario. Justice
Brown also ruled that the case could not succeed here, because
Chevron (the Ecuador defendant) does not own any assets here;
subsidiaries' assets don't belong to the parent
Meanwhile, a stunning, and damning, US decision has ruled that the original $18
billion Ecuador judgment (for oil pollution by Texaco) was obtained
by fraud. That will create a serious challenge for our judges; how
far should they go to hear the collection claim if the original
judgment was fraudulent? And will they take the word of the US
judge on this, or re-hear the entire issue themselves?
The U.S. District Court for the Southern District of New York
ruled that the $9.5 billion judgment against Chevron Corporation in Ecuador was the product
of fraud and racketeering activity.
The nearly 500-page ruling finds that Steven Donziger, the lead
American lawyer behind the Ecuadorian lawsuit against the company,
violated the federal Racketeer Influenced and Corrupt Organizations
Act (RICO), committing extortion, money laundering, wire fraud,
Foreign Corrupt Practices Act violations, witness tampering and
obstruction of justice in obtaining the fraudulent Ecuador judgment
and in trying to cover up his and his associates' crimes.
The court found that Donziger and his team "wrote
the [Ecuadorian] court's Judgment themselves and promised
$500,000 to the Ecuadorian judge to rule in their favor and sign
their judgment." As Judge Lewis Kaplan stated in the
court's ruling: "The wrongful actions of Donziger
and his Ecuadorian legal team would be offensive to the laws of any
nation that aspires to the rule of law, including Ecuador –
and they knew it. Indeed, one Ecuadorian legal team
member, in a moment of panicky candor, admitted that if documents
exposing just part of what they had done were to come to light,
'apart from destroying the proceeding, all of us, your
attorneys, might go to jail.' It is time to face the
The content of this article is intended to provide a general
guide to the subject matter. Specialist advice should be sought
about your specific circumstances.
To print this article, all you need is to be registered on Mondaq.com.
Click to Login as an existing user or Register so you can print this article.
Register for Access and our Free Biweekly Alert for
This service is completely free. Access 250,000 archived articles from 100+ countries and get a personalised email twice a week covering developments (and yes, our lawyers like to think you’ve read our Disclaimer).