Argentine court upholds freeze on Chevron assets in Ecuador case

The winners of a major environmental damages judgment in Ecuador say an appeals court in Argentina has spurned an attempt to unfreeze Chevron Corp.'s assets there.

Plaintiffs' attorney Pablo Fajardo says an appeals court refused Wednesday to lift an embargo that a lower-court judge imposed in November.

The plaintiffs are trying to collect on a $19 billion award ordered by an Ecuadorean court over oil contamination in the Amazon more than two decades ago.

Chevron has no assets in Ecuador, so the plaintiffs have filed suits in Canada, Brazil and Argentina.

Chevron has refused to pay the Ecuador judgment, calling it the result of judicial fraud.

It said Wednesday that if the judgment were legitimate the plaintiffs would be seeking relief in the United States, where the company is headquartered.