The Other Side of Chevron
In his recent guest post, Doug Cassel attempts to portray Chevron as the innocent victim of illegal and unethical conduct by the lawyers for the plaintiffs harmed by its predecessor’s dumping of 16.8 million gallons of crude oil and 20 billion gallons of toxic waste into the Ecuadorian rainforest. Cassel writes as an advocate for Chevron, so he can hardly be expected to discuss both sides of the story. It is thus critically important to understand the reprehensible behavior that Chevron has engaged in from the earliest days of the litigation. Here, in no particular order, are some highlights:
1. Chevron has repeatedly lied about the environmental damage caused by its dumping — damage just as repeatedly documented by its own internal audits.
2. Chevron fraudulently altered a report that they gave to their paid scientific consultants in order to hide the fact that they had engaged in dishonest sampling practices in the affected areas (deliberately sampling only areas predetermined to be clean).
3. Chevron has used a secret lab in the United States to hide dirty samples taken from the affected areas.
4. Chevron lawyers have been indicted in Ecuador for making false claims about Chevron’s fake “remediation” of affected sites — which included paying Ecuadorians to build houses on top of dirty sites so they could not be tested.
5. Chevron’s paid scientific consultants misrepresented epidemiological studies linking Chevron’s dumping of waste to health problem in the affected area. (See this letter signed by 50 leading scientists from all over the world.)
6. Chevron has tried to bribe the Ecuadorian government into quashing the case.
7. Chevron threatened the presiding judge in the case with jail time if he did not rule in favor of the company.
9. Chevron attorneys have been sanctioned in U.S. courts for abusing the discovery process, including taking depositions in order to harass witnesses, and for filing vexatious lawsuits against lawyers for the plaintiffs and against filmmakers who have documented the damage Chevron has caused.
These examples could be multiplied indefinitely. But I think they are enough to rebut Cassel’s attempts to portray Chevron as the innocent victim in the case.