Appeals Court in Ecuador Upholds 9.5 Billion Ruling Against Chevron

A class action lawsuit of 30,000 Ecuadorians living in the Amazon rainforest has reached a major milestone in its litigation. An appeals court has upheld a 2011 ruling that the oil company Chevron pay 9.5 billion dollars for damage caused to the environment. The President of Ecuador, Raphael Correa is said to be pleased with the ruling.

The latest verdict is the culmination of a process that began as far back as 1993. Throughout the years the legal proceedings have gained a global following and has even been featured in a documentary directed and produced by Joe Berlinger. In 2008, two Ecuadorian attorneys Pablo Fajardo and Luis Yanza won the prestigious Goldman Prize for their work on the Chevron case. In addition Pablo Fajardo was also named a CNN Hero.

As the Miami Herald now reports:

In its ruling late Tuesday, the court found the company liable for the shoddy environmental practices of its predecessor, Texaco, that included pumping millions of gallons of oil-tainted water in to creeks and streams. Texaco operated in the Ecuadorian Amazon from 1960 to 1992 and the two companies merged in 2001.

As it stands now Chevron has no property in Ecuador so it will be difficult to seek compensation from the company.