Ecuadoreans sued Chevron Corp. in Canada seeking to seize company assets there to enforce an $18 billion damage award they won in a lawsuit in Ecuador over pollution from oil operations in the Amazon basin.
Chevron refuses to pay the damages and has no assets in Ecuador, lawyers for the Amazon residents said in documents filed today in the Ontario Superior Court of Justice in Toronto.
Chevron Canada Ltd. “is a necessary party to this action in order to achieve equity and fairness,” Alan Lenczner, an attorney for the Ecuadoreans, said in the filing, which seeks appointment of a receiver to seize shares and assets.
The company’s assets in Canada include the country’s largest offshore drilling project and new investments in oils sands in the province of Alberta, Lenczner said in an e-mailed statement.
Chevron said it would fight any attempt to enforce the judgment. “The Ecuador judgment is a product of bribery, fraud, and it is illegitimate,” the company said in an e-mailed statement. “The company does not believe that the Ecuador judgment is enforceable in any court that observes the rule of law.”
The case is Yaiguaje v. Chevron, CV-12-454778, Ontario Superior Court (Toronto).