Chevron in Ecuador: A Timeline of Events
||Texaco Petroleum Corp. begins oil exploration in Ecuador.
||Texaco becomes operator of the oil consortium in eastern Ecuador.
||State owned Petroecuador becomes majority owner of the consortium.
||Petroecuador takes over operation of drilling and the trans-Ecuadorean oil pipeline.
||Texaco ceases all operations in Ecuador.
||Plaintiffs, led by young New York attorney Steven Donziger, file suit in the Southern District of New York, over oil contamination in the region around Lago Agrio.
||Texaco and Ecuadorean government sign agreement which Chevron said freed it from environmental claims. Texaco agrees to undetake some remedial work in return.
||Representative of plaintiffs agree not to sue Ecuador or Petroecuador in return for the government agreeing to enforce any judgment entered in the Southern District of New York.
||The Ecuadorean legislature, with prodding from plaintiffs, passes the Environmental Management Act, which creates for the first time a private right of action for individuals to seek damages for environmental damages in Ecuador.
||Chevron acquires Texaco.
U.S. court dismisses the original lawsuit against Texaco.
||Plaintiffs file suit in Ecuador.
Ecuador announces criminal investigation into two Texaco lawyers, Rodrigo Perez Pallares and Ricardo Reis Veiga, and former government and Petroecuador officials over the 1995 settlement with Texaco.
||Leftist Rafael Correa elected president of Ecuador. He pledges his support for the plaintiffs.
||Chevron asks international arbitration panel to intervene, citing agreements between Texaco and the Ecuadorean government that it says absolves it from any liability.
Documentary film about the case, called "Crude," is released.
||Chevron begins seeking to depose American witnesses -- including Joseph Berlinger, the director of Crude, and, later, Steven Donziger -- who it believes could have evidence that could undermine the plaintiffs' case in Ecuador.
||In early February, based on the evidence it obtained from Donziger and others, Chevron files a federal racketeering claim against the plaintiffs and their lawyers, alleging the entire case is an extortion racket. U.S. District Judge Lewis Kaplan imposes a temporary restraining order that would prevent the plaintiffs from enforcing a favorable judgment in U.S. courts and possibly elsewhere.
Around the same time, the international arbitration panel asks Ecuador not to immediately enforce a court judgment against Chevron.
Days later, Judge Nicolas Zambrano issues the long-awaited ruling in Ecuador, awarding the plaintiffs up to $18 billion in damages: $8.6 billion, plus an additional 10 percent to the plaintiffs, to be doubled if Chevron doesn't immediately apologize.
In March, Judge Kaplan grants a preliminary injunction preventing enforcement of Zambrano's ruling, making his temporary restraining order more permanent.
The following month, Kaplan agrees to hold a trial in November on whether foreign courts should recognize the Ecuadorean court's ruling.
Judge Kaplan declines to recuse himself from the case after objections from plaintiffs.
In September, the 2nd U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals hears arguments over the injunction preventing the plaintiffs enforcing the Ecuadorean court ruling and, in a surprising move, issues an order three days later lifting the injunction.