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Chevron-Ecuador case expert switches sides, becomes eyewitness to fraud by plaintiff lawyers

The SF Chronicle reports that Donziger disagreed with the findings of the court-appointed experts, and told Reyes and another engineer to to submit a paper critical of the expert’s work using the letterhead from an engineering association.

“During our discussions, Mr. Dozinger (sic) told us that our report should establish that the findings of the settling experts’ report … were wrong, that they lacked objectivity and were biased toward Chevron, and therefore the report should be discounted,” said Reyes. “However, in my professional opinion the evidence did not support Mr. Donziger’s position and I could not twist my professional assessments to make them fit the plaintiffs’ interests.”

Donziger later tried to get a judge in the case to appoint Reyes as an independent expert to do a “global assessment” of damages for the court, but Reyes rejected the idea and suggested consultant Richard Cabrera instead. The three of them met in 2007 to discuss what Donziger wanted.

Donziger and the other plaintiff lawyers “dropped any pretense that Mr. Cabrera would act independently in writing an expert report that would be technically sound and executed according to professional standards,” said Reyes’ statement.

“On the contrary, it was obvious that the plaintiffs had already predetermined the findings of the global assessment, that they themselves would write a report that would support their claim for billions of dollars against Chevron and would simply put Mr. Cabrera’s name on it,” the statement continued.

“Cabrera’s report has since been shown to be a fraud, written by the plaintiffs’ representatives and passed off as the work of a neutral and independent court appointee,” said Chevron. “Reyes’ declaration describes the process by which the plaintiffs’ lawyers sought out someone who, as Donziger put it, would ‘totally play ball with us and let us take the lead while projecting the image that he is working for the court.’”

“The plaintiffs’ lawyers’ were aware of the fraud they were committing: as their scheme to deceive the court was unraveling, Donziger’s co-counsel wrote, ‘all of us, your attorneys, might go to jail,’” Chevron continued.

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