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Chevron Granted Preliminary Injunction in Ecuador Case
Chevron was ordered by a court in Ecuador last month to pay almost $9 billion to Ecuador to clean up alleged pollution by caused by Texaco Inc. in the 1970s and 1980s. In 2001, Chevron bought Texaco, and denies responsibility. If Chevron doesn’t publicly apologize, the fine may be set even higher.
On Monday, the 7th of March, Judge Lewis Kaplan granted the motion that Chevron made for a preliminary injunction. Because of this ruling, the Ecuadorian plaintiffs and their lawyers are barred from enforcing the almost $9 billion judgment that was rendered last month in the court in Ecuador.
Kaplan issued a 131 page opinion giving his reasons in detail why a preliminary injunction was granted. Chevron asked for the injunction because it claimed that the whole case against them is a scheme for extortion.
In theory, Kaplan’s ruling should stop the plaintiffs from being able to enforce the ruling made in Ecuador in any other country. Chevron has no assets in Ecuador, so if the ruling holds, the plaintiffs will have no place to enforce the almost $9 billion ruling. The plaintiffs in Ecuador say that the U.S. court has no jurisdiction over them and that they will appeal and plan to “lawfully enforce the judgment of their own country’s courts in any of the dozens of nations around the world where Chevron has assets”, according to their spokeswoman Karen Hinton.