LA court can hear Peruvian case against oil giant

LOS ANGELES, Calif. (AP) — An appeals court says a case filed by indigenous plaintiffs from the Peruvian Amazon against Occidental Petroleum Corp. should be heard in Los Angeles.

The 9th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals made its ruling Monday, overturning an earlier district decision that the case should be litigated in Peru.

The lawsuit filed in 2007 accuses the Los Angeles-based company of causing health and environmental problems by knowingly dumping 850,000 barrels of toxic wastewater per day into the rainforest inhabited by the Achuar people of northern Peru beginning in the 1970s. Health studies have revealed that Indians living in the contaminated areas suffer from high blood concentrations of cadmium and lead.

A spokesman for Occidental couldn’t immediately be reached for comment.

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