Chevron asks Ecuador court to dismiss key expert

* Company claims expert violated his legal duties

* Ruling on potential $27 billion case expected this year

LOS ANGELES, May 24 (BestGrowthStock) – Chevron Corp (CVX.N: ), which
is in the throes of a multibillion-dollar pollution lawsuit in
Ecuador, has requested courts there disregard an environmental
expert who has said the company should pay $27 billion in
damages for polluting the Amazon rainforest.

In a filing to the Lago Agrio court last Friday, Chevron
said it was seeking the dismissal of geologist Richard Cabrera
as an appointee and the rejection of his work in its entirety.

Cabrera has said Chevron should pay $27 billion in
compensation for environmental damage stemming from oil
pollution in the Amazon rainforest.

The lawsuit contends that Texaco, which Chevron bought in
2001, polluted the jungle and damaged the health of local
residents by dumping 18 billion gallons (68 billion liters) of
contaminated water from 1972 to 1992.

Chevron, which has been snarled in a legal fight for 17
years, has said the claim against it is without merit.

In a copy of the court filing given to Reuters by Chevron,
the company says Cabrera had had ongoing contact with
plaintiffs’ representatives and that he based a large part of
his report on material provided by them.

Chevron claims Cabrera violated his legal duties by working
directly with the plaintiffs’ lawyers and consultants.

“This direct evidence of fraud and ex parte contacts
further demonstrates the illegitimacy of the fictitious $27
billion number the plaintiffs’ lawyers have created for the
purpose of extracting money from Chevron and its shareholders,”
said Chevron vice president and general counsel Hewitt Pate.

The argument about Cabrera not being independent is one
Chevron has made before, most notably when he revised his
damage estimate to $27 billion in 2008.

Stock Market Report

(Reporting by Dana Ford; editing by Andre Grenon)

Chevron asks Ecuador court to dismiss key expert