SAN RAMON, Calif., Sept. 20 (UPI) -- U.S. supermajor Chevron said it was disappointed with a U.S. court decision to unfreeze an $18 billion case regarding environmental damage in Ecuador.
The 2nd U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals in New York reversed a February lower-court decision, moving the 18-year legal fight in the Ecuadorans' corner.
Chevron, in a statement, said it was "disappointed" the trial could move ahead but said it was "committed" to getting a judicial ruling that the charges against it are fraudulent.
Plaintiffs in Ecuador blame Texaco for environmental contamination and adverse health effects tied to operations in the country's rainforests from 1972-90.
Chevron points to a 1998 agreement between Texaco and Ecuador that absolves of it liability in the case. Petroecuador, Texaco's partner, is to blame for the current pollution, Chevron claims.
Karen Hinton, the U.S. spokeswoman for the Ecuadorian plaintiffs, said Chevron in the case "abused the law" and must face the legal consequences.
"We call on Chevron to meet its legal, moral and fiduciary responsibilities and clean up the pollution it left behind in Ecuador's Amazon," she said in a statement.
Chevron doesn't have assets in Ecuador. The case is under appeal by the supermajor in the Ecuadoran courts.