Chevron is apparently attempting to recover nearly $500,000 in expenses related to it's nearly ten year trial versus a group of Nigerian villagers who claimed the company colluded with the Nigerian military (read SF Chronicle article).
The villagers thought the company should be held responsible for deaths and injuries sustained during a peaceful protest of an oil platform in the Niger Delta. Unfortunately, the judge didn't agree and Chevron was found not guilty. The decision is being appealed. More coverage of this situation is available on this blog and on the Internet.
Chevron made nearly $24 billion in profits last year. Why do they need to counter-sue villagers, most of whom make less than a dollar-a day? Clearly there is the intimidation factor--don't sue us or we'll sue you back.
Whatever the case, this disgraceful action is not constructive towards building peace and stability in a region that provides Chevron with so much of its bread. The arrogance of the company is really astonishing after barely repelling charges of collusion in murder; they can't leave well enough alone and have decided to strike at those simply seeking redress.