Case: Maynas v. Occidental Petroleum
A Legacy of Harm: Indigenous Communities in the Peruvian Amazon take Occidental Petroleum to Court.
In 2007, EarthRights International brought suit on behalf of twenty-five indigenous Achuar plaintiffs from the Peruvian Amazon against Los Angeles-based Occidental Petroleum Corp. (Oxy), alleging egregious harm caused by Oxy over a thirty-year period in the Corrientes River basin during which Oxy contaminated the rivers and lands of the indigenous Achuar communities, causing death, widespread poisoning and destruction of their way of life. For several years, Oxy argued that the case should be litigated in Peru, rather than in California, under the doctrine of forum non conveniens. The Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals rejected Oxy’s arguments and ruled that the case should continue in the Achuar Plaintiffs’ chosen forum: Oxy’s home state of California. In 2015, ERI announced that the parties were pleased to confirm a mutual settlement of the claims in the litigation. Under the settlement, the terms of which are confidential, Oxy provides assistance to enable these five Achuar communities to carry out community development projects for their benefit. All parties are satisfied with the resolution of this dispute.