NEW YORK (MarketWatch) -- Plaintiffs in Chevron's environmental lawsuit in Ecuador on Thursday asked a U.S. judge to prevent the oil giant from holding an international arbitration proceeding. The Ecuador suit, which seeks up to $27 billion in damages against Chevron, prompted fresh legal action in a federal court in New York. The new suit says Chevron broke a promise made in 1999 by Texaco to adhere to judgments by Ecuador's legal system. Chevron inherited the case when it bought Texaco in 2001. Chevron, which has denied liability for oilfield pollution in Ecuador, has said it expects a ruling against it in Ecuador. Meanwhile, the government of Ecuador maintains it has not interfered with the suit. Chevron brought the suit to an arbitration court in The Hague in September.