What do plantation workers in Nicaragua have in common with villagers beset by oil production fallout in the Ecuadorean Amazon? Plenty, it turns out. Both teamed up with lawyers intent on collecting big bucks from multinational corporations. Then Gibson, Dunn & Crutcher stepped in for the defense, and the plaintiffs’ cases went to hell.

The Amazon case came to a head on March 4, when a judge in New York sided with Gibson Dunn’s Randy Mastro and ruled that plaintiffs lawyers led by Steven Donziger fraudulently rigged a $9.5 billion Ecuadorean judgment against Chevron Corporation. (See our coverage of the Chevron decision here, here and here.) On Friday, a California appeals court iced the cake for Gibson Dunn, affirming a remarkably similar victory in Tellez v. Dole, a case brought by a dozen Nicaraguan banana farmers who claimed they were left sterile by Dole’s pesticide use.

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