An Ecuadorian judge on Monday ordered Chevron Corp. to pay $8.6 billion to clean up oil pollution in the country's rain forest in what is believed to be the largest-ever judgment in an environmental case.
And if the U.S. oil giant doesn't publicly apologize in the next 15 days, the judge ordered the company to pay twice that amount.
The ruling brings to an end one chapter of a legal drama that has played out in courtrooms in Ecuador and the U.S. for nearly two decades.
The case has been bitterly fought by both sides, with each accusing the other of improprieties. In recent months, Chevron uncovered a secret memo revealing the plaintiffs' strategy for enforcing any favorable Ecuadorian ruling around the world. That means that Chevron could be forced to defend itself in any of the dozens of countries where it does business.
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