An appeals court in Argentina has rejected an attempt to enforce an Ecuadorian judgment against Chevron Corp. that the U.S. courts in 2014 found was the product of bribery, extortion, money laundering, wire fraud, witness tampering and obstruction of justice.
The three-judge panel from the Chamber of Appeals in Buenos Aires unanimously dismissed the action against Chevron for lack of jurisdiction. The Chamber of Appeals concluded that Chevron has no legal presence or assets in Argentina and that the Ecuadorian judgment cannot be enforced against Chevron Argentina S.R.L. and other indirect local subsidiaries because they are separate legal entities with no connection to the Ecuadorian case.
The Argentinian court decision follows a June ruling in Brazil's Superior Court of Justice that ended the Ecuadorian plaintiffs' attempt to extend their fraud to Brazil, and two decisions in May in the Ontario Court of Appeal and the Supreme Court of Gibraltar. Brazil's Supreme Court affirmed a lower court's decision to dismiss the plaintiffs' enforcement action against Chevron Canada, an indirect subsidiary, while the Supreme Court of Gibraltar issued a judgment against the plaintiffs' lead Ecuadorian lawyer and representatives for their role in procuring and attempting to enforce the fraudulent Ecuadorian judgment, ordering them to pay Chevron $38 million in damages.
In the 2014 decision, a U.S. federal court prohibited the enforcement of the Ecuadorian judgment in the United States and prohibited the wrongdoers from profiting from the judgment anywhere in the world. The U.S. federal court judgment is now final after having been unanimously affirmed by the U.S. court of appeals and denied review by the Supreme Court.