May 11, 2011
The Continuing Procedural Battle in the Chevron (Ecuador) Case
Chevron has been battling a massive environmental lawsuit brought by citizens of Ecuador for years. The case began with a procedural bang: Chevron successfully convinced the S.D.N.Y. to dismiss the case for forum non conveniens in favor of trying the case in Ecuador. The Ecuadorian court found for the plaintiffs, assessing one of the largest judgments in history on Chevron ($18 billion), and have filed lawsuits in the U.S. to attach Chevron's property and enforce the judgment.
Now Chevron is challenging enforcement, having secured a preliminary injunction from the S.D.N.Y. as to enforcement and attachment. The plaintiffs have now asked the Second Circuit to lift the injunction -- in part because it blocks access to funds that the plaintiffs' lawyers believe they need in order to fight a racketeering lawsuit that Chevron has brought against the plaintiffs and the Ecaudorian government.
This ongoing procedural battle is definitely one to keep watching.