Chevron is suing one of the architects of a massive environmental torts case against the company for his role in filing a separate civil suit against the energy giant in April 2006.

In a 15-page complaint filed Friday in U.S. district court in San Francisco, Chevron accuses Cristobal Bonifaz of malicious prosecution and seeks $4 million in legal fees and unspecified damages for his role in filing the April 2006 civil suit. A federal judge tossed the bulk of that suit in August 2007 after finding that plaintiffs’ attorneys “manufactured” illness claims.

“This is a frivolous lawsuit with absolutely no merit,” says John Bonifaz, an attorney and son of Cristobal Bonifaz, of Chevron’s action. “The judge made clear that a mistake was made, but the idea that there was any malicious prosecution is offensive on its face. Chevron has gone off the rails here.”

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