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Court won't hear Chevron appeal concerning Ecuador

WASHINGTON -- The Supreme Court is staying out of the fight over efforts by Amazon rain forest residents to collect more than $18 billion from Chevron Corp. for environmental damage in Ecuador.

The court said Tuesday it will not consider Chevron's request to prevent the plaintiffs from trying to collect the judgment they won in an Ecuadorean court in February 2011. Chevron says there was massive fraud in the legal proceedings in Ecuador.

The justices' order, issued without comment, is the latest step in nearly two decades of litigation that stemmed from the poisoning of land in the Ecuadorean rainforest while the oil company Texaco was operating an oil consortium from 1972 to 1990 in the Amazon. Texaco became a wholly owned subsidiary of Chevron in 2001.

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