Lawyer Steven Donziger has also asked the judge, U.S. District Judge
Lewis Kaplan, to put his ruling on hold while a federal appeals
court considers the merits of Donziger's challenge, a process that
will likely take months to resolve.
Kaplan issued a nearly 500-page decision earlier this month finding
that Donziger had used "corrupt means," including bribery, in
pursuit of an $18 billion judgment against Chevron in 2011 on behalf
of a group of villagers who claimed the oil giant polluted an area
of northeastern Ecuador.
Ecuador's high court cut the judgment in half to $9.5 billion last
The decision, which followed a six-week non-jury trial last fall in
New York, bars Donziger and the villagers from seeking to collect on
the judgment in the United States. Chevron has also said it will use
the ruling as ammunition to fight attempts by the villagers to go
after the company's assets in other countries.
In a court filing on Tuesday, Donziger's lawyer said Kaplan's ruling
was unlikely to survive review from the 2nd U.S. Circuit Court of
"This court's decision in this case is without precedent,"
Donziger's lawyer wrote in a court filing on Tuesday. "It seeks to
preemptively undermine the judicial decree of a foreign sovereign
nation and, in so doing, to let Chevron Corporation off the hook for
decades of deliberate pollution in the Amazon rainforest."
If Kaplan denies the request for a stay, Donziger will seek one from
the 2nd Circuit, according to the filing.
In a statement, a Chevron spokesman said Donziger should accept the
"This is yet another attempt by Steven Donziger to evade the court's
well-supported findings and avoid taking responsibility for his
actions," the spokesman, Morgan Crinklaw, said. "The court's nearly
500-page opinion and judgment capture in extraordinary detail the
defendants' unlawful scheme."
[to top of second column]
The case centers on an oil field at a site, known as Lago Agrio,
where Texaco operated from 1964 to 1992. Chevron later acquired
Chevron has asserted that Texaco cleaned up the site before handing
it over to a state-controlled company.
In 2011, Ecuadorean Judge Nicolas Zambrano ruled in the
villagers' favor. Chevron, claiming the judgment was a result of
fraud, eventually filed a racketeering lawsuit against Donziger in
New York that led to last year's trial.
In his opinion, Kaplan concluded that Donziger's team bribed a
former judge to ghost-write the Ecuadorean judgment, among other
Donziger has repeatedly accused Kaplan of bias and claimed the judge
allowed personal animosity toward Donziger to affect his decision.
He has denied the bribery and fraud allegations.
The case is Chevron Corp v. Steven Donziger et al, U.S. District
Court for the Southern District of New York, No. 11-0691.
(Reporting by Joseph Ax; editing by Cynthia Osterman)
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