ChevronTexaco Issues Statement on U.S. Circuit Court Decision Affirming Dismissal of Ecuador Litigation
SAN FRANCISCO, Aug. 19, 2002 -- ChevronTexaco today issued the following statement regarding the United States Court of Appeals for the Second Circuit decision on Aug. 16 affirming the District Court's decision to dismiss the Aguinda v Texaco, Inc. and Jota v Texaco, Inc. litigation:
"ChevronTexaco is pleased with the ruling of the U.S. Court of Appeals affirming the lower court's dismissal of these claims and ruling that the cases brought by these plaintiffs do not belong in the U.S. judicial system.
"This ruling vindicates ChevronTexaco's long-standing position and the arguments we have made to the court: The appropriate forum for this litigation is Ecuador because the plaintiffs are in Ecuador, the operations were in Ecuador, the state oil company -- with which the Texaco subsidiary was a minority partner, and which continues to operate the oil fields today -- is in Ecuador. The evidence is in Ecuador; and the remedies sought by plaintiffs can only be obtained in Ecuador."
In its Aug. 16 ruling, the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Second Circuit noted, "All plaintiffs, as well as members of their putative class, live in Ecuador or Peru. Plaintiffs sustained their injuries in Ecuador and Peru, and their relevant medical property records are located there. Also located in Ecuador are the records of the decisions taken by the Consortium, along with evidence of Texaco's defenses implicating the roles of PetroEcuador and the Republic We conclude that the district court was within its discretion in dismissing the actions on the basis of forum non conveniens."
Texaco Petroleum Company (TexPet), a Texaco subsidiary, operated in Ecuador from 1964 to 1990 in partnership with PetroEcuador, the state oil company of Ecuador. PetroEcuador was the majority partner, holding a 62.5 percent interest. TexPet held the 37.5 percent minority interest.
At the conclusion of its involvement in the Consortium, TexPet sponsored two environmental audits and subsequently undertook a $40 million remediation to ensure that there would be no lasting environmental impact. That remediation program was completed in 1998 and certified by the Ecuadorean government.
The subject litigation was first filed in U.S. courts in 1993. However, plaintiffs have failed to present any credible scientific evidence to substantiate their claims.
Published: August 2002