Chevron Loses Supreme Court Appeal of $18.2 Billion Ecuadoran Judgment

The U.S. Supreme Court today denied an appeal from Chevron Corp. (NYSE: CVX) to block an $18.2 billion judgment against the company as a result of a pollution case in Ecuador. The long-running case is related to pollution in Ecuador caused by Texaco between 1964 and 1992. Chevron acquired Texaco in 2001.

The company was appealing a January decision by the Second Circuit Court of Appeals in New York that tossed out an injunction blocking the enforcement of the Ecuadoran court's decision. Chevron had argued that the judgment was unenforceable in a New York court and that the Ecuadoran decision was fraudulent.

The circuit court ruled that Chevron could only challenge the decision if the residents who brought the suit attempted to enforce the judgment. In other words, don't come complaining to us until somebody tries to collect.

Chevron has other actions pending in the Ecuadoran case and these are working their way through the federal court system. The company no longer owns any assets in Ecuador.

Chevron's shares are unaffected by today's ruling, up about 0.1% at $117.79 in a 52-week range of $92.29 to $118.543.

Paul Ausick