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Friday, June 14, 2024 | Back issues
Courthouse News Service Courthouse News Service

Chevron Reaches End of Torture Liability Suit

(CN) - The Supreme Court on Monday declined to review a decision in which Chevron dodged a lawsuit over the deaths of protesters who took over its oil rig off the coast of Nigeria in 1998.

The decision not to disturb the case aligns with a finding the court made last week to not extend liability under the Torture Victim Protection Act to non-natural persons.

On May 25, 1999, more than 100 others set off for an oil-drilling platform and an attached construction barge off operated by Chevron Nigeria.

Chevron asked the Nigerian government for assistance after three days of the occupation.

When members of the Nigerian Government Security Forces stormed the barge, they killed two and arrested many others, taking them back to land where they were allegedly tortured.

Larry Bowoto, Bassey Jeje and the families of two killed protesters sued Chevron, and the case eventually went to trial before a federal jury in San Francisco.

After the jury sided with Chevron on all claims, the 9th Circuit affirmed, with its decision primarily resting on its understanding of the Torture Victims Protection Act.

Since that question went before the high court earlier this year in a different case, the justices elected not to pick up the Chevron case.

They did not comment on their decision, as is their custom.

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