Chevron makes its case in trial over $19 billion Ecuadorean judgment

Tue Nov 12, 2013 5:38pm EST
 
Email This Article |
Share This Article
  • Facebook
  • LinkedIn
  • Twitter
| Print This Article | Single Page
[-] Text [+]

By Joseph Ax

NEW YORK (Reuters) - Chevron Corp (CVX.N: Quote) is bringing its enormous resources to bear in a court case in New York in which it has accused a U.S. lawyer of using fraud to win a $19 billion environmental judgment against it.

The judgment was made by an Ecuadorean court to a group of affected villagers in 2011. Chevron has asked the U.S. District Court in Manhattan to prevent the villagers and the U.S. lawyer who helped them, Steven Donziger, from collecting the award.

Donziger has denied using fraud to obtain the judgment.

Chevron, which rested its case on Tuesday, has brought a series of expert witnesses from the fields of linguistics, psychology and computer science to testify in the case over the past four weeks.

The star witness was Alberto Guerra, a former Ecuadorean judge who said he was paid by lawyers for the villagers to ghostwrite rulings for the judge in the case.

Donziger was aware of the arrangement, he said.

"Mr. Donziger thanked me for the work that I was going to do," Guerra said.

Lawyers for Donziger said Guerra's testimony cannot be credited because Chevron paid to relocate his family and has covered his living and housing expenses.   Continued...

 
A waste pit filled with crude oil left by Texaco drilling operations years earlier lies in a jungle clearing near the Amazonian town of Sacha, Ecuador, October 21, 2003, on the day of the start of a landmark trial where Ecuadoran Indians are seeking to force ChevronTexaco to clean up the environmental contamination left behind from Texaco's operations. RTR5EYI