US Lawyer in Case Against Chevron Denied Stay

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A US court on Friday refused to delay the enforcement of a ruling that found a US lawyer fraudulently obtained $9.5 billion pollution compensation judgment in a case against Chevron Corp in Ecuador.

Lawyer Steven Donziger is contesting a March determination by the US District Judge Lewis Kaplan that prevents him from accessing $9.5 billion in compensation against Chevron in the United States.

Chevron took Donziger to court in New York, alleging that the lawyer employed corruption and false evidence to win a favorable judgment for a group of villagers who accused the oil firm of polluting a section of northeastern Ecuador, according to Reuters.

A lower court in Ecuador had ruled that the villagers receive $18 billion in 2011, a figure that was cut by half by the country’s high court.

But Judge Kaplan ruled on Friday that the call for a stay was for the most part baseless.

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“Indeed, their claims of irreparable injury rest on a pastiche of unsupported assertions, contradictions of undisputed evidence, and fertile imagination. Nor have they shown any likelihood of appellate success on any legal issue that would alter the relief granted here,” read a section of Kaplan’s ruling as quoted by Courthouse News.

However, the court granted Donziger a slight relief on one issue.

Kaplan permitted that the stocks Donziger owns in a firm called Amazonia, assembled to accept and distribute any compensation from the Ecuadorian ruling, be kept by the court as opposed to Chevron, as parties await the result of the appeal.

Morgan Crinklaw, the oil giant’s spokesman, said Donziger’s application to stay was another effort to delay and draw away attention from the irrefutable evidence against him. He added that the firm was confident it would come off victorious in the appeals court.

Donziger has never admitted to having used bribery and fraud in the compensation case against Chevron.

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To contact the reporter of this story; Yashu Gola at yashu@forexminute.com