A federal judge has ruled that a $9.5 billion judgment in an Ecuador court against Chevron Oil for supposedly polluting a rain forest is not enforceable in the United States because it was secured by "corrupt means" as reported by Bloomberg.
Chevron "alleged that a U.S. lawyer leading the Ecuadoreans, Steven Donziger, and members of his team engaged in 'repeated acts of fraud, bribery, money laundering' and obstruction of justice in pursuit of a multibillion-dollar payout."
U.S. District Judge Lewis Kaplan "concluded that Mr. Donziger and his team fabricated evidence, promised $500,000 to an Ecuadorean judge to rule in their favor, ghostwrote much of the final verdict in the case and took other actions that 'perverted' the course of justice" as reported by The Wall Street Journal:
"Donziger—in his own words—went over 'to the dark side' by recruiting and paying new experts to pose as 'independent monitors' and to criticize the settling experts' conclusions to the court without disclosing that the [Ecuadorean plaintiffs] were paying them," Judge Kaplan wrote. "Moreover, it must be noted that Donziger did not address—much less offer any innocent explanation of—these events, either in his written direct testimony or on the witness stand."
Donziger is appalled by today's decision, and promises an immediate appeal. Wonder how much in attorney's fees Donziger was to get out of the fat judgment.
Further reading that may be of interest: