Ecuadorian Chevron oil pollution case goes before Canadian high court

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Lawyers for a group of Ecuadoran villagers will ask Canada's high court to grant their clients access to Canadian courts to enforce a US$9.5-billion Ecuadorian judgment against Chevron Corp for rainforest damage.

The judgment was for environmental damage caused by Texaco when it operated an oil consortium in the rainforest from 1972 to 1990. Chevron later bought Texaco.

Chevron argues that a 1998 agreement Texaco signed with Ecuador after a US$40 million cleanup absolves it of liability.

Lawyers have fought in several countries over who's responsible for pollution in the rain forest. They are arguing that the case should be heard in Canada because Chevron has a Canadian subsidiary.