The Most Expensive Environmental Lawsuit
Ecuadorians filed a lawsuit worth $27 billion against Chevron Corporation (previously Texaco), for dumping 20 billion barrels of oil waste and toxic water in Amazon rainforest. The oil giant has been found guilty and will pay$9.5 billion for the cleanup of environmental damages and 10% compensation for the claimants- so far the most expensive environmental lawsuit in history since the 1989 Alaska oil spill fine of $5 billion.
Ecuador judge, Nicholas Zambrano, stopped the investigation and ordered an analysis of the 215,000-page case to come up with a verdict- the costliest court order ever made. This trial spanned almost 17 years and the turning point for the transnational oil company finally came on February 14, 2011 when Ecuador court proved them guilty of the environmental pollution that led to health problems such as cancer and birth defects among natives of Amazon, Ecuador.
Yet, will an oil behemoth like Chevron simply accept to pay this humongous fine?
Chevron Corporation struck back by filing a civil lawsuit under the Racketeer Influenced and Corrupt Organization (RICO) Act as well as other federal and state against Ecuador trial lawyers and consultants leading the fraudulent litigation and public relations campaign against their company. They seek to prove that the Ecuador lawsuit is a result of fraud and therefore unenforceable.