Big Penalties Loom for Chevron in Ecuador

Sixteen years after it was first filed and seven years after it was tossed out of U.S. courts, an environmental contamination lawsuit growing out of Texaco's oil drilling in Ecuador has become a giant legal and public relations headache for Chevron (CVX), which bought Texaco in 2001. The suit was refiled in Ecuador, and a judge there is expected to issue a ruling later this year or early in 2010. It is widely expected that he will assess billion-dollar damages against Chevron, which argues that the proceedings are politically tainted.

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