The Supreme Court of Canada has dismissed an attempt by oil giant Chevron to block Ecuadorian villagers from using an Ontario court to collect billions in damages over rainforest pollution.

The 7-0 ruling Friday allows the case to proceed in Canada.

Lawyers have fought for years in several countries over who's responsible for pollution in the Ecuadorian rain forest. They have argued that the case should be heard in Canada because U.S.-based Chevron has a Canadian subsidiary.

In February 2011, a judge in Ecuador issued an $18 billion judgment against Chevron in a lawsuit brought on behalf of 30,000 residents. The judgment was for environmental damage caused by Texaco during its operation of an oil consortium in the rainforest from 1972 to 1990. Chevron later bought Texaco.