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NY judge lets Chevron's Ecuador claim move forward

Posted: August 7, 2012 |   Comments

NEW YORK (AP) - A judge who once tried to stop collection worldwide of an $18 billion environmental judgment in Ecuador against energy company Chevron continued his criticisms of the award on Tuesday in litigation that seeks a declaration that the judgment was the product of fraud.

U.S. District Judge Lewis Kaplan in Manhattan said some of the actions involving courts in Ecuador "unquestionably were tainted" before the award was announced in February 2011, but he said it was too soon to say the judgment cannot be enforced in New York. His order last year banning enforcement of the judgment worldwide was overturned by a federal appeals court that said he had overstepped his authority.

A judge in Ecuador imposed the judgment for pollution that occurred when oil company Texaco was operating in the Ecuadorean rainforest, between 1972 and 1990. Texaco became a Chevron subsidiary in 2001. Chevron has long claimed that a 1998 agreement Texaco signed with Ecuador after a $40 million cleanup absolves it of liability. Ecuadoreans say the agreement did not protect the company from the claims of individuals, and they say the cleanup was fraudulent.

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