Ecuador: energy giants square up
The ruling by Judge Lewis Kaplan of the Southern District of New York related to a RICO (Racketeer Influenced and Corrupt Organizations Act) suit in which Chevron alleges that an Ecuadorian court's $18 billion judgment against the company was obtained through fraud and extortion, reports Lexology.
The Ecuadorian case centres on whether oil giant Texaco caused environmental destruction in the country prior to its merger with Chevron in 2001.
Although Chevron argued that CEO Mr Watson and general counsel Mr Scott did not have unique personal knowledge on relevant topic, Judge Kaplan rejected all of their arguments.
Lexology suggests the case is a further warning that ‘even the most senior officers in a company, the CEO and general counsel, may be deposed if a court determines there is a possibility that such ‘apex officials’ have personal knowledge relevant to a legal dispute.’