After winning a judgment worth between $8.2 billion and $9 billion against Chevron, the second-largest U.S. oil company, lawyers for the Ecuadorean plaintiffs realize they may not be able to collect the judgment in the Central American country and plan to pursue additional legal action against Chevron in other nations.
The ruling stems from Ecuador's charges that Texaco polluted water in villages throughout the country's Amazon region. Chevron, which has no assets in Ecuador, acquired Texaco a decade ago. Chevron (CVX) has a significant footprint in other Latin American countries and that could be where the lawyers decide to pursue their case, the New York Times reported.
The judgment is the second-largest made against a major global oil company for economic damages following only the $20 billion BP (BP) was forced to set aside for a victims compensation fund following the Gulf of Mexico oil spill.
Advisers to the plaintiffs said Brazil, Argentina and Venezuela would be obvious candidates to pursue Chevron assets, but they acknowledged it would not be easy, according to the Times. Advisers also said they will consider attempting to collect part of the damages in the U.S., though that does not appear to be a favorable option at this juncture.