Chevron is Victorious in International Arbitration Hearing
Thursday, September, 26, 2013
According to a recent ruling by an international arbitration panel, a $19 billion judgment against Chevron, which was issued in 2011, had already been settled in 1995. As a result, Chevron will not have to pay the money to the Amazon Defense Front of Ecuador.
R. Hewitt Pate, serving as general counsel for Chevron, issued a statement saying, "It pulls the legal rug out from under the [Front's] whole fraudulent litigation scheme. This is a definitive ruling on the single most important legal issue in the entire case." Meanwhile, Bill Hamilton, a spokesperson for the Amazon Defense Front, maintains that the Front was not a part of the prior arbitration hearings that have since been ruled as unenforceable.
According to the original dispute, Ecuador claimed that a Texaco subsidiary was responsible for environmental contamination that occurred during drilling in Eastern Ecuador between 1964 and 1992. Since Texaco was bought by Chevron in 2011, Chevron was made part of the litigation and arbitration proceedings.
Multiple forums have been initiated by Ecuador in an attempt to enforce the original $19 billion judgment; however, since Chevron did not have a physical presence in Ecuador, the enforcement had to be recognized by a country in which Chevron had offices. In the United States, while the Front did not attempt to enforce the judgment on U.S. soil, Chevron brought its own case against it, alleging bribery, extortion, mail fraud, witness tampering, money laundering and obstruction of justice.
In this latest international arbitration proceeding, the international panel of arbitrators acknowledged that any liability owed by Texaco (and therefore, Chevron) to Ecuador had already been settled in 1995.