A group of Ecuadoreans will sue Chevron Corp. in Argentina in order to seize the oil company’s assets, BBCreports.
The Ecuadorean plaintiffs involved in the suit against Chevron, accuse the company of polluting the Amazonian land and putting the health of its’ people at significant risk. Last year, Chevron was ordered by an Ecuadorean court to pay $19 billion in damages.
Chevron, who now has few assets in Ecuador, say the court order is illegitimate. The company’s lack of action to appeal to the court has prompted the group of Ecuadoreans to seek restitution by finding enforcement abroad.
Pablo Fajardo, the lawyer representing the group spoke at a press conference at the Commercial Court of Justice in Buenos Aires, saying the lawsuit will be filed tomorrow. The group will also file in Colombia, said Argentine attorney, Enrique Bruchou, Bloombergreports.
Chevron, agreed to purchase Texaco at market value for $36 billion, in 2000, and did so in 2001, The New York Timesreported.
Texaco has a long history of drilling for oil in the Amazonian forest. The Ecuadoreans accuse the company of severely damaging the environment of the Lago Agrio region and jeopardizing the health of 30,000 inhabitants.
In 2011, Chevron filed a criminal conspiracy case against the Ecuadorans, SF Gatereported.
A statement released by Chevron said the claims were not conclusive:
“Chevron remains confident that once the full facts are examined, the fraudulent judgment will be found unenforceable and those who procured it will be required to answer for their misconduct.”
Chevron lost a US Supreme Court bid on October 9, saying that the Ecuadoreans could not be kept from collecting their award anywhere in the world.
The company said the Ecuadorean courts decision was illegitimate in an email response, today:
“The Ecuador judgment is a product of bribery, fraud, and it is illegitimate. The company does not believe that the Ecuador judgment is enforceable in any court that observes the rule of law.”
Similarly, the Ecuadoreans filed a lawsuit against Chevron in Ontario Superior Court of Justice in Toronto, in May. A hearing for the lawsuit is scheduled for November, 28.
In Argentina, Chevron is the fourth-largest producer of oil. The company denies any and all allegations that Texaco’s actions could be attributed to fatal health issues.