How the Environmental Lawyer Who Won a Massive Judgment Against Chevron Lost Everything
Key Excerpts from Article on Website of The Intercept
Posted: February 9th, 2020
Few news outlets covered the detention of [attorney] Steven Donziger, who won a multibillion-dollar judgment in Ecuador against Chevron over the massive contamination in the Lago Agrio region. On August 6, Donziger left a Lower Manhattan courthouse ... with an electronic monitoring device newly affixed to his ankle. As he was arguing the case against Chevron in Ecuador back in 2009, the company expressly said its long-term strategy was to demonize him. Chevron has hired private investigators to track Donziger, created a publication to smear him, and put together a legal team of hundreds of lawyers from 60 firms. As a result, Donziger has been disbarred and his bank accounts have been frozen. He now has a lien on his apartment, faces exorbitant fines, and has been prohibited from earning money. As of August, a court has seized his passport and put him on house arrest. Despite Donzigers current predicament, the case against Chevron in Ecuador was a spectacular victory. An Ecuadorian court ruled against Chevron in 2011 and ordered the company to pay $18 billion in compensation, an amount that was later reduced to $9.5 billion. After years of struggling with the health and environmental consequences of oil extraction, the impoverished Amazonian plaintiffs had won a historic judgment from one of the biggest corporations in the world. But ... Chevron immediately made clear that it would not be paying the judgment. Instead, Chevron moved its assets out of the country.
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