A 9th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals panel on Monday sounded open to the idea of ordering a new trial for Nigerian villagers who blame Chevron Corp. for a violent altercation on an oil platform in 1998.

The plaintiffs attorney, Theresa Traber of Pasadena, Calif.’s Traber & Voorhees, focused her oral argument on U.S. District Judge Susan Illston’s “serious error” in instructing the jury on the Nigerians’ battery claims.

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