Wednesday, May 8, 2013

2,000 Lawyers Failed to Block Chevron CEO John Watson from Court Deposition on Ecuador Case

Reposted from The Chevron Pit

After spending hundreds of millions of dollars for 2,000 lawyers and legal assistants to fight a group of impoverished Ecuadorian indigenous people in a historic oil contamination lawsuit, Chevron's CEO and Chairman of the Board John Watson will finally have to answer questions under oath about the environmental crimes committed by an oil company he recommended Chevron purchase.

This, of course, assumes that U.S. Federal Judge Lewis Kaplan, who has sought to stop the Ecuadorians from enforcing their judgment, does not overrule a magistrate judge's decision issued yesterday, allowing the deposition to go forward.

As the architect of the plan to purchase Texaco in 2001, Watson knew about Texaco's admission that it had dumped 16 billion gallons of toxic production water into the Ecuador rainforest's waterways. He knew about the 900 unlined pits that Texaco built to store pure crude. He knew about the internal audits Texaco conducted that showed massive contamination. Yet, he pushed the merger and, as a result, inherited the largest environmental lawsuit in the world's history and urged a trial in Ecuador, only later to cry foul when he, his lawyers and his private investigative firm, Kroll, failed to undermine the Ecuadorian judicial system.

It is about time that Chevron's highest ranking officer speak to the injustices that Texaco committed and Chevron tried to hide in Ecuador's rainforest.

A statement issued by the Ecuadorians who won a $19 billion judgment against Chevron and are seeking to enforce that judgment in Argentina, Canada, Brazil and Ecuador is available here.

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