The documentary evidence has been mounting for many months now that the U.S. trial lawyers’ litigation against Chevron for environmental damages in Ecuador was built on collusion, fraud and lies, all marketed as an environmental and humanitarian campaign.
This week’s revelations from outtakes from the documentary-style film “Crude” sealed the case. The collusion, fraud and lies are now on film, visible for the courts and the whole world to see.
So this next step makes eminent sense.
SAN RAMON, Calif., Aug. 6, 2010 – Chevron Corporation has today filed a petition before the Provincial Court of Sucumbíos in Lago Agrio, Ecuador seeking dismissal of the lawsuit pending against it there. In support of its petition, Chevron has submitted to the court video outtakes from the movie Crude that show the plaintiffs’ counsel, consultants, and associates meeting with the court’s supposedly neutral “Global Expert,” Richard Stalin Cabrera Vega, to plan and create the $27.3 billion damages report that Cabrera later would present to the court as his own.
Chevron believes that the video evidence proves that plaintiffs’ counsel and consultants colluded with Cabrera to present a fraudulent report and then to present a fraudulent “peer review” of their own work. Chevron also believes that the video proves that plaintiffs’ and Cabrera’s denials of their collusion in filings and testimony before the Ecuadorian court, before various United States courts and other institutions, and before the worldwide press have been false.
Chevron’s petition argues that the case must be dismissed as a sanction for the abusive misconduct by plaintiffs and their attorneys, and because the fraudulent “Global Expert” report submitted under Cabrera’s name is the only “evidence” supporting plaintiffs’ case.
Roger Alford of Pepperdine University School of Law has been reporting on Chevron’s court filing this week based on the “Crude” footage, including responses from Karen Hinton, the trial lawyers’ PR person, and an attorney for the Ecuadorian plaintiffs. His excellent posts are at the Opinio Juris blog here. But you cannot spin or explain away the clear meaning of the words of Steven Donziger, the head U.S. trial lawyer. As Alford writes:
In responding to concerns from their own experts that there was not evidence of groundwater contamination, Donziger replies, “This is all for the Court just a bunch of smoke and mirrors and bullshit.” (p. 12). That’s right, Donziger is caught on tape saying that the evidence he is gathering for inclusion in the court-appointed expert report about groundwater contamination is just smoke and mirrors and bullshit.
I would rarely advise our readers to read a court filing they don’t have to, especially during the summer recess. But this one is explosive.
- ‘Crude’ Footage Reveals Lies Behind Trial Lawyers’ Suit Against Chevron
- What Else Will Footage from ‘Crude’ Show?
- Chevron ‘Cherrypicks’ Film Footage? That’s Hilarious
UPDATE (5:40 p.m.): Coverage of earlier developments this week:
- The National Law Journal, “Documentary Outtakes Show Fraud by Plaintiffs, Chevron Claims”
- The Wrap, “Now Chevron Wants to Depose ‘Crude’ Director”
- Wall Street Journal blog, “In Ecuador Case, Chevron Asks 2nd Circuit for Arbitration“
- CNNMoney, Roger Parloff, “Chevron pushes ahead in key First Amendment case“
- Courthouse News Service, “Chevron Seeks to Expand Discovery in ‘Crude’ Case”