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Chevron Corp. v. Donziger
United States District Court for the Southern District of New York
974 F. Supp. 2d 362 (2014)
Steven Donziger (defendant) was an environmental attorney who obtained an $18 billion judgment on behalf of a group of indigenous Ecuadorians against Chevron in an Ecuadorian court. The judgment was related to Chevron’s alleged destruction of the Amazon rainforest around the Lago Agrio oil fields. Chevron filed a civil lawsuit against Donziger under the Racketeer Influenced and Corrupt Organizations Act and sought injunctive relief to prevent the Ecuadorian judgment from being enforced, claiming that the judgment had been procured by Donziger and other attorneys through fraud. Chevron alleged that Donziger and his accomplices had coerced the Ecuadorian judge to find in his clients’ favor, submitted fraudulent evidence to the court, and hired a consulting firm to ghostwrite purported expert opinions to support his arguments. The United States District Court for the Southern District of New York conducted a lengthy trial, hearing from dozens of witnesses. The court concluded that Chevron’s allegations against Donziger were true and that the judgment Donziger obtained on behalf of his clients was procured through fraud. Chevron sought equitable relief, requesting that the judgment Donziger obtained not be enforced.
Rule of Law
Holding and Reasoning (Kaplan, J.)
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