Chevron, the second-largest U.S. oil company, said it will appeal a ruling by an Ecuadorean court that levied at least $8.2 billion in damages against the company for allegedly creating wastewater that was dumped into the Amazon River over two decades ago.
California-based Chevron (CVX) has been locked in a contentious legal battle with the Central American country for 18 years despite the fact the company has no assets in Ecuador. Chevron won a Feb. 8 court order in New York barring the Ecuadoreans from attempting to enforce the judgment in the U.S. or elsewhere, according to Bloomberg News.
The ruling by the Ecuadorean court requires Chevron to pay damages of $8.2 billion to $9 billion. The suit targeted Chevron because Texaco, which Chevron acquired 10 years ago, was accused of dumping toxic waste into ponds throughout Ecuador. The lawsuit seeks to hold Chevron responsible for water and soil contamination that allegedly caused Amazon residents $27 billion in damages from illness, deaths and economic loss, Bloomberg 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.