Chevron Amends Complaint To Block Ecuador Ruling

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Chevron, the second-largest U.S. oil company, has amended a complaint filed last month to block enforcement of a $9.4 billion ruling levied against the company by an Ecuadorean court, claiming it has evidence that the plaintiffs' legal team may have helped the court craft the ruling.

Chevron's new complaint claims that the Ecuadorean indigenous plaintiffs' lawyers and consultants, at a minimum, ''provided clandestine assistance to the Ecuadorian court in drafting the judgment,'' according to the Wall Street Journal. The original ruling was handed down in February.

In March, Chevron (CVX) won an injunction against the plaintiffs after U.S. District Judge Lewis Kaplan of the Southern District of New York ruled that Ecuadorean plaintiffs cannot collect some or all of the damages they are seeking from Chevron in the U.S. or other countries.

The plaintiffs are seeking damages from Chevron related to claims of pollution by Texaco when that company operated in Ecuador. Chevron acquired Texaco a decade ago, but currently does not do business in Ecuador.

In a statement issued last month, Chevron said it obtained documents that memorialize the plaintiffs' lawyers' efforts to pressure judges to rule in their favor, corrupt expert reports, and manufacture evidence. Ecuador's legal system has come under international criticism for corruption since President Rafael Correa took office in January 2007.