Chevron Corporation (NYSE:CVX) claims that a lawyer from the US, Steven Donziger and a few of Ecuadorean villagers used bribery for winning a judgment worth $18 billion in an Ecuadorean court against Chevron. According to Chevron, Texaco cleared off the waste before the oil field was handed over to Petroecuador that is owned by the state. Chevron says that back in 2011 $18 billion were given to Ecuadorean villagers from Lago Agrio village by a court in Ecuador in order to buy their silence; the villagers were affected by the oil field pollution. To cover the fee costs the sum was raised to $19 billion.
The judgment is about environmental contamination involving oil field pollution; the oil field was formerly operated by Texaco and Chevron later acquired it.
Former Ecuadorean judge Alberto Guerra, an ex-Ecuadorean judge admitted that a sum of $1,000 was given to him for ghostwriting orders that were issued for a US judge Nicolas Zambrano who was presiding over the case. According to Guerra, Donziger knew about the settlement and thanked the Guerra in a meeting arranged at a Restaurant in Ecuador’s city Quito. However, Donziger says that the Guerra asked the lawyer to make a payment worth $500,000 which Donziger refused to pay.
Donziger and the villagers claim that no corruption was involved in winning the judgment against them and they are accusing Lewis Kaplan, the District Judge of prejudice.
Chevron on the other hand is determined to win its case and claims to have evidence in its favor; Randy Mastro, a Chevron lawyer claims that a female employee in an organization that is affiliated with Donziger made a deposit of $1,000 in Guerra’s account.
A trial will be held in New York without a jury where Chevron is hoping for a verdict that will be in its favor; the trial will be presided over by Lewis Kaplan who is a District Judge in the US.