Chevron fined $9.5 billion in Ecuador
By GONZALO SOLANO and FRANK BAJAK, Associated Press
QUITO, Ecuador – An Ecuadorean judge ruled Monday in an epic environmental case that Chevron Corp. was responsible for oil drilling contamination in a wide swath of Ecuador’s northern jungle and ordered the oil giant to pay $9.5 billion in damages and cleanup costs.
The amount – $8.6 billion plus a legally mandated 10 percent reparations fee – was far below the $27.3 billion award recommended by a court-appointed expert but appeared to be the highest damage award ever issued in an environmental lawsuit.But whether the plaintiffs – including indigenous groups who say their hunting and fishing grounds in Amazon River headwaters were decimated by toxic wastewater that also raised the cancer rate – can collect remains to be seen.
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