U.S. Water News Online
QUITO, Ecuador -- ChevronTexaco has filed a claim against
former partner Petroecuador, demanding that the state-owned company
share expenses in a lawsuit accusing Texaco of polluting the Amazon
jungle, a company representative said.
The California-based oil company filed the request with
arbitrators at the American Arbitration Association in New York,
company vice president and legal adviser Ricardo Reis Veiga said.
"Based on the contract, Petroecuador has the shared obligation for
... whatever damages that could come out of this lawsuit,'' Reis
Veiga said. "The decisions of the arbitrators cannot be appealed
&emdash; they are final and obligatory.''
The ongoing lawsuit, brought by 88 people representing 30,000 poor
jungle settlers and Amazon Indians, opened in a rural Ecuador court
in October after spending a decade winding through U.S. courts. The
2nd U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals in New York ruled in 2002 that the
case should be heard in the country where the damage allegedly
The plaintiffs want ChevronTexaco to pay to clean up contamination
and provide medical care for people harmed by pollution. They
estimate the costs could reach $1 billion.
The plaintiffs allege that Texaco chose to cut costs during the
1970s and 1980s by dumping 18.5 billion gallons of oily wastewater
brought up by drilling into more than 600 open pits and streams in
the Amazon jungle.
The company says the lawsuit is unfounded and that it complied
with a government cleanup plan.
Texaco merged with Chevron in 2001 and ChevronTexaco is based in
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