Lago Agrio: Argentine Court Refuses to Enforce Ecuadoran Judgment
Posted on November 2, 2017
A first-instance court in Argentina has decided to refuse enforcement of the Ecuadoran judgment against Chevron. The decision is not, as far as I know, yet available in English. Chevron has, though, published a translation of a key phrase: Chevron has no assets in Argentina and is not domiciled there, which “seals the fate of the present exequatur as it is inadmissible to recognize a foreign decision in this jurisdiction where the defendant has no point of connection.”
When the court said Chevron has no assets in Argentina, it meant that the Chevron entity in Argentina, Chevron Argentina SRL, an indirect subsidiary, is not an asset of Chevron that can be reached to satisfy the judgment. This is precisely what the first-instance court in Ontario said about the indirect subsidiary the LAPs sued there.
I assume there will be an appeal. But as of now, the global status of the case seems to be this:
- The judgment is unenforceable in the United States
- The Ontario courts have held that the judgment cannot be enforced against Chevron’s indirect Canadian subsidiary, which is a separate entity. That decision is on appeal.
- An Argentine court has held that the judgment cannot be enforced against Chevron’s indirect Argentine subsidiary, which is a separate entity. That decision might be appealed.
- the LAPs have abandoned efforts to obtain recognition and enforcement in Brazil. To my knowledge there are no efforts now underway in other countries.