Chevron Inches Closer to Legal Victory Over Ecuador Pollution

Ecuador's President Rafael Correa uses a stick to measure how deep the area is, in the Aguarico 4 oil field in Ecuador, on Sept. 17 Photograph by Dolores Ochoa/AP Photo

In one of the most geographically profuse pieces of litigation in recent memory, Chevron has taken another step toward escaping a $19 billion pollution verdict imposed in 2011 by a provincial court in Ecuador. The U.S. oil giant’s victory came Tuesday in the form of an interim ruling by an international arbitration panel based in the Hague. The three-person tribunal said the lawsuit that produced the huge verdict—the largest judgment of its kind—lacked a legitimate legal foundation because Ecuador had released the oil company of all potential liability back in the 1990s.

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