UPDATE 1-Chevron appeals $18 bln ruling in Ecuador lawsuit

Fri Jan 20, 2012 8:45pm GMT

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Jan 20 (Reuters) - Chevron Corp said it has filed an appeal with Ecuador's National Court of Justice to review an appellate judgment asking the U.S. oil giant to pay $18 billion in damages to plaintiffs who accused it of polluting the Amazon jungle.

In February 2011, a local judge had ordered Chevron to pay $8.6 billion in environmental damages, but the amount was more than doubled to about $18 billion as Chevron failed to make a public apology as required by the original ruling.

"Throughout the course of this litigation, judges corruptly operating in concert with the plaintiffs' lawyers have created, rather than corrected, injustice," Hewitt Pate, Chevron vice president and general counsel said in a statement on Friday. (Reporting by Swetha Gopinath in Bangalore; Editing by Roshni Menon)

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