Chevron has lost its battle to keep a 16-year old, $27 billion lawsuit out of the Ecuadorian courts. The lawsuit involves Chevron's alleged role in contaminating Ecuador's Amazon River basin . The United States Supreme Court refused to hear Chevron's appeal that sought to obligate Ecuador's state-owned oil company to take part in a binding arbitration with the hope of forcing it to share liability for some $27 billion in potential damages. This case dates back to 1993 when Ecuador residents sued Chevron in American courts for environmental damages, then against Ecuador's government, which Chevron says ought to pay some of the estimated billions needed to clean contaminated areas. Chevron won a dismissal of the 1993 case from the Southern District of New York, in favor of courts in Ecuador, where the claims against it were ultimately resurrected. Then Ecuador launched the recently dismissed suit in 2004, to block Chevron from forcing its state-owned oil company into arbitration. Chevron claims that Ecuador has now "completely politicized the judiciary," creating "improper collaboration, government intervention in a private lawsuit, and the corruption of the judiciary over the course of the last four years alone" and has provided evidence of the judge seeking a payoff. As a result of Chevron's evidence, the judge recently recused himself and the government has begun an investigation. Chevron now seeks to have all of the judge's prior ruling annulled. Some commentators are still predicting that Chevron will likely lose the case in Ecuador after a court-appointed expert recommended that Chevron be held liable for $27.3 billion in damages, including $18.9 billion for environmental remediation and compensation to local people and $8.3 billion in unjust enrichment penalties.