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Supreme Court Upholds $18.2 Billion Judgement Against Chevron For Ecuadoran Pollution

Common Dreams staff

The U.S. Supreme Court on Tuesday upheld a $18.2 billion judgement against Chevron Corp., in which the second-largest U.S. oil company was found to have polluted parts ofthe Amazonian jungle for nearly 30 years.

The court did not offer any reason for its decision, Reuters reported.

Indigenous groups and farmers in Ecuador's Lago Agrio region claim that Texaco, which was bought by Chevron in 2001, contaminated the area, in the Amazon jungle, between 1964 and 1992.

Tuesday's decision is only the latest in a long series of legal rulings in the case. It rejects an appeal by Chevron of a lower court ruling, which threw out an injunction blocking enforcement of an injunction by an Ecuadoran court.

Chevron says the February 2011 judgment by an Ecuadorian court was fraudulent and could not be enforced under New York law, according to Reuters.

Chevron called the Ecuadoran court order a "product of bribery, fraud," Agence French-Presse reported Wednesday.

In a statement emailed to Reuters, Chevron said, ""While Chevron is disappointed that the Court denied our petition, we will continue to defend against the plaintiffs' lawyers' attempts to enforce the fraudulent Ecuadorean judgment, and to further expose their misconduct."

The plaintiffs have filed lawsuits in Canada and Brazil to go after the company's assets in third countries, saying Chevron has virtually no assets in Ecuador that could be seized, according to Agence French-Presse.

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