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Excerpt: "The Canadian Supreme Court, in a unanimous 7-0 ruling, determined Friday that victims of the contamination caused by the Chevron oil company in Ecuador can seek compensation from Chevron in Canada."

Chevron set fire to over 800 pools of petroleum that they had in Ecuador, causing air pollution. (photo: noticiasambientales)
Chevron set fire to over 800 pools of petroleum that they had in Ecuador, causing air pollution. (photo: noticiasambientales)


Canadian Supreme Court Rules Against Chevron in Ecuador Case

By teleSUR

04 September 15

 

The Supreme Court determined that Canada is an appropriate jurisdiction and victims of contamination can seek compensation from the oil company.

he Canadian Supreme Court, in a unanimous 7-0 ruling, determined Friday that victims of the contamination caused by the Chevron oil company in Ecuador can seek compensation from Chevron in Canada.

In 2011, an Ecuadorean court found Chevron responsible for environmental contamination in the Ecuadorean Amazon and ordered the company to pay billions in compensation. A 2013 ruling by the Ecuadorean Supreme Court affirmed the lower court’s ruling and set the compensation at US$9.5 billion.

However, Chevron has refused to pay and as a result the plaintiffs were forced to try to enforce the ruling by seeking the seizure of Chevron's assets in Canada.

Friday’s decision by the Supreme Court affirms that Canada is an appropriate jurisdiction for the case.

“A finding of jurisdiction does nothing more than afford the plaintiffs the opportunity to seek recognition and enforcement of the Ecuadorian judgment,” wrote Justice Clement Gasconon on behalf of the court.

According to a press release issued by the plaintiffs, Chevron has assets worth an estimated US$15 billion in Canada and produces an estimated US$2 billion to US$3 billion annually in profits.

The case will now will proceed in a lower court.

The plaintiffs are indigenous Ecuadorean people from the Lago Agrio region. Contamination caused by the oil company in that part of the Amazon is estimated to involve over 80 times the amount of oil spilled in the infamous 2010 BP Gulf of Mexico oil disaster.

“This ruling shows that the most vulnerable, the poor, ordinary people also have rights, they also exist and they can now get justice,” Santiago Escobar, an Ecuadorean citizen who helped expose Chevron's alleged attempts at defrauding the Ecuadorean justice system, told teleSUR.

“Chevron operates throughout the world, extracting oil, making lots of money and then leaving the country without any liability. This ruling will set a precedent in the world and give hope to people and communities struggling against irresponsible corporations worldwide.”

Pablo Fajardo, the lawyer representing victims in Ecuador, responded on his Twitter account, saying, “The Supreme Court of Canada, unanimously delivers a forceful judgment against Chevron. We continue with more strength than ever.”

Texaco, acquired by Chevron in 2001, conducted oil extraction in the Ecuadorean Amazon from 1964 to 1990, and dumped over 16 billion gallons of oil and toxic waste as a cost-saving measure.

There are 30,000 plaintiffs currently involved in the lawsuit against Chevron. The campaign against the oil company has drawn support from a wide-array of people, including famed human rights defender and Nobel laureate Rigoberta Menchu, as well as other indigenous peoples throughout the continent.

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+16 # Emmanuel Goldstein 2015-09-04 22:16
What a wonderful turn of events in this tragic story! (How interesting that the Ecuadoreans turned to Canada instead of Chevron's home country, the US!)

I was in the Ecuadorean Amazon basin just a few months ago and can appreciate the ecological damage Chevron wreaked on that unique area. May these brave indigenous people prevail in their fight against all odds!
 
 
+5 # grumpy 2015-09-04 23:14
I think that Chevron had their lawsuit retried in the USA after Ecuadorian courts ruled against Chevron. This was decided against Ecuador. Ecuador contends their court decision is still valid and they are pursuing Chevron assets in other countries.
 
 
+2 # HowardMH 2015-09-05 08:34
This is great, but they only get $9B and the spill was 80 times the BP spill in the Gulf of Mexico. Only $9B!!!!
 
 
+3 # geraldom 2015-09-05 00:03
If anyone is interested and if you have Dish Network and can access Channel 280 which is Russia Today, they are currently airing a documentary on this subject in two half-hour segments. I believe it will be aired today, Friday, and tomorrow, Saturday.

Unfortunately, when you look at their schedule, they just simply indicate "Documentary." It doesn't indicate what documentary is being aired and which part is going to be aired, if it is in two half-hour segments. You may catch Part 2 first. When Spanish is spoken, you will see the subtitles at the bottom of the screen.

The following URL will give you RT's schedule for the United States:

http://www.rt.com/schedule/usa/

I believe Part 1 is scheduled at 5:27AM EST Saturday and Part 2 will be aired at 10:26AM EST Saturday. The current schedule doesn't show what is playing after 3:27PM EST, but will probably do so as the day goes on. The first airing of the documentary after 3:27PM EST will probably be Part 1 of the film, and so forth and so on.
 
 
+8 # geohorse 2015-09-05 06:10
Even if the indigenous people win again it doesn't mean they will get paid as there is never any enforcement when poor locals are involved. Exxon still hasn't paid the people in Alaska from the Exxon Valdez mess but the media never takes up these causes that would get the public clamoring for justice. It's so discouraging and maddening that one can understand where the tactic of terrorism comes from.
 
 
+6 # babalu 2015-09-05 07:26
Thanks for the reminder - the resource extractors assume their only responsibility is to pull resources out of the ground by the cheapest means, including those that expose anyone with surface rights to the MOST INJURY!
We have to change the laws so they lose the right they have abused for decades, if not centuries.
 
 
+4 # tm7devils39 2015-09-05 10:08
It's not over yet...Chevron will gladly spend 1 billion - using delay tactics, lies and bribes - to keep from parting with 9.5 billion.
It's the nature of the corporate beast.
 
 
+2 # Robbee 2015-09-05 11:51
if i, from what i read here, get the shitstorm that scoc has lined canada up for, we can expect chevron to sue canada under nafta and the tribunal of nafta global corporations to fine canada $9.5 billions US, to compensate chevron for lost profits!
 
 
+2 # Archie1954 2015-09-05 16:46
Finally justice for the poor indigenous peoples of Ecuador. interesting isn't it that they couldn't get justice in the US but they can in Canada. Actually I wonder if anyone can get justice in the US?
 
 
+3 # Passing Through 2015-09-05 19:16
I wish the people of Ecaudor all the best wishes in what is definitely going to be a long, long slog. Oil companies have long tentacles, no moral conscience and very slimy friends.

"A $225 million deal between Gov. Chris Christie's administration and Exxon Mobil over dozens of polluted sites and nearly 2,000 retail gas stations was approved by a New Jersey judge on Tuesday.

Superior Court Judge Michael Hogan ruled that the deal is much less than the $8.9 billion the state originally sought, but a "reasonable compromise" considering the "substantial litigation risks" faced by the state in the 11-year-old case that spanned Democratic and Republican governors.

The Christie administration has hailed the deal as the nation's second-largest of its kind against a corporate polluter.

The deal was criticized by environmental groups and Democrats who control the state Legislature. They say the settlement is just a fraction of the billions of dollars New Jersey should have recovered.

Under law, about $50 million of the settlement will go toward site remediation. Another roughly $50 million will go toward the state's private legal costs. The rest is slated to go into the general fund."

So, less than a quarter of an already minuscule settlement goes to actually fixing the damage done, and the rest lines legal pockets and goes to slush.
 

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