Ecuadorean plaintiffs in the controversial case against Chevron, the second-largest U.S. oil company, have filed an emergency appeal in a bid to block a U.S. judge from scrapping the $18.2 billion judgement a court in the South American country levied against the U.S. oil giant.
Earlier this year, an Ecuadorean court held California-based Chevron (CVX) liable for pollution damages allegedly committed by Texaco in Ecuador, the smallest OPEC member as ranked by production. Chevron acquired Texaco a decade ago and currently has no operations in Ecuador.
After the last 2nd Circuit hearing, a three-judge panel refused to stay the proceedings but invited the Ecuadorians to renew their appeal before the merits panel, according to Courthouse News. Chevron has been vigorously fighting the judgement, claiming Ecuador's legal system is rife with corruption and that the company was barred from presenting crucial evidence during legal proceedings in the country.
The plaintiffs are also trying to force U.S. District Judge Lewis Kaplan, the judge who granted an injunction against the plaintiffs collecting the $18.2 billion in damages, to recuse himself from the case. Kaplan had refused to step down and pointed out that the circuit has previously praised his handling of the case, Courthouse News reported.
The plaintiffs have pledged to find other avenues to collect the $18.2 billion judgement outside of the U.S.