Ecuador’s High Court Ignores Fraud,
Upholds Judgment Against Chevron
National Court of Justice Violates International Obligations
SAN RAMON, Calif., Nov. 13 -- Despite overwhelming evidence of fraud, bribery and
corruption, Ecuador's National Court of Justice ratified the fraudulent Lago Agrio judgment
against Chevron Corporation (NYSE:CVX), once again violating the nation's international
obligations and the rule of law.
Without any investigation, the National Court ignored uncontested proof of the plaintiffs'
lawyers' fraud and collusion with the Provincial Court of Sucumbíos, which issued the $19
billion judgment in February 2011. In an attempt to give the false appearance of due
process, the court eliminated the illegal "punitive damages" portion of the judgment against
The court's reduction of the judgment follows the strategy of manipulation and deceit laid
out by plaintiffs' lawyers in outtakes of the movie Crude, in which they discuss concocting
an inflated damages figure so the judge could look reasonable when ordering a lower
amount. Ecuadorian law does not allow the imposition of punitive damages, and the
National Court's elimination of them from the judgment does not make it any less
"The Lago Agrio judgment is just as illegitimate and unenforceable today as it was when it
was issued almost three years ago," said Hewitt Pate, Chevron vice president and general
counsel. "The Government of Ecuador should be investigating the lawyers who are using
its courts to commit fraud, rather than issuing another court opinion in furtherance of that
With this ruling the court also disregarded a recent award by an international arbitral
tribunal which found that the Settlement and Release Agreements that the Government of
Ecuador entered into with Chevron's subsidiary, Texaco Petroleum Company, released the
company of any liability for all public interest or collective environmental claims. The Lago
Agrio plaintiffs' lawyers have repeatedly admitted, and the relief in the Lago Agrio judgment
makes clear, that the plaintiffs' claims are exclusively collective and not individual.
Separate and apart from the fraud, this should have led to a complete dismissal of the
The company is reviewing the court's decision to determine its legal options and next
steps. In addition to the international arbitration pending against Ecuador in the Hague,
Chevron has filed a civil lawsuit in the United States to hold the plaintiffs' lawyers and
consultants accountable for fraud, extortion and other misconduct associated with the
Lago Agrio litigation. That case, brought under the federal anti-racketeering statute and
other state laws, is currently in trial in a New York federal court.
Yesterday's decision is not surprising. Refusing to investigate the blatant misconduct of
the plaintiffs' representatives and its own judges, the Republic of Ecuador has instead
embarked on a global propaganda and intimidation campaign against Chevron and
anyone who helps expose the ongoing fraud committed in the case against Chevron. This
is a manifest denial of justice, and Chevron will continue to seek redress under
Chevron Corporation is one of the world's leading integrated energy companies, with
subsidiaries that conduct business worldwide. The company is involved in virtually every
facet of the energy industry. Chevron Corporation's subsidiaries explore for, produce and
transport crude oil and natural gas; refine, market and distribute transportation fuels and
lubricants; manufacture and sell petrochemical products; generate power and produces
geothermal energy; provide energy efficiency solutions; and develop the energy resources
of the future, including biofuels. Chevron Corporation is based in San Ramon, California.
More information about Chevron is available at www.chevron.com.
More information about the lawsuit in Ecuador can be found on www.juiciocrudo.com or on