QUITO, Ecuador (AP) — Plaintiffs' hopes for collecting a $19 billion award by an Ecuadorean court against Chevron Corp. for oil contamination in the Amazon jungle have suffered another potential setback.
A three-judge arbitration panel in The Hague has ruled that an agreement signed in 1995 by Texaco Corp. — which Chevron later purchased — released the oil giant from financial responsibility from claims of "collective damage" from pollution.
However, the interim ruling Tuesday by the Permanent Court of Arbitration left open the possibility that Chevron could still be liable for damages incurred by individuals.
Chevron has been fighting in multiple courts on three continents litigation that began two decades ago and led to the February 2011 judgment.
U.S.-based Chevron is refusing to pay, and both sides accuse each other of fraud.