“I sit back and dream. I cannot believe what we have accomplished. Important people interested in us. A new paradigm of not only a case, but how to do a case. Chevron wanting to settle. Billions of dollars on the table. A movie, a possible book. I cannot keep up with it all.”
—From the notebook of the defendant in the case of Chevron Corp. vs. Steven Donziger.
The story unfolding this week in a Toronto courtroom pivots on a central question: can Chevron Canada Ltd., described as a seventh level wholly-owned subsidiary of Chevron Corp., be held financially accountable for the environmental devastation delivered upon the Oriente region of Ecuador by Texaco Inc.?
The simple facts are these: in the late 1960s, Texaco led an oil company consortium that began extracting commercial crude in the Amazonian jungle. In 1993, Texaco was sued in the state of New York over an estimated 18.5 billion tonnes of toxic sludge that leached through open pits or direct dumping into the region around Lago Agrio, affecting approximately 30,000 Ecuadorian villagers.
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