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Business and Legal Implications for Environmental Consulting Firms

Lessons Learned from the Stratus/Chevron Ecuador Debacle

June 5, 2013

Recent developments in the Chevron Ecuador contamination case have shaken environmental consultants everywhere and those who use their services.  Following an Order by an Ecuadorian judge requiring Chevron, as successor to Texaco, to pay over $18 billion in damages associated with legacy water, soil and natural resource contamination in Ecuador's Amazon rainforest, Chevron brought suit in NY federal court, alleging misconduct (including fraud and extortion) on the part of the plaintiffs, their attorney and  their environmental consultant, Stratus Consulting.  Recently, Stratus agreed to a settlement in which it admitted improper conduct and recanted its findings and conclusions.  This Environmental Client Alert summarizes these developments and identifies the important business and legal lessons for environmental consulting firms to avoid a similar disaster.

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