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News & Updates

By Mark J. Mullaney, Georgetown University Law Center J.D. Candidate, 2016

Blog   09/26/2014

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

September 24, 2014--Today, the federal district court in the District of Columbia ruled that two closely related lawsuits against Exxon Mobil for human rights abuses can go forward.  

Press Release   09/24/2014
July 25, 2014 Washington, D.C.— On July 24, 2014, in a 2-1 decision, the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Eleventh Circuit dismissed the cases against Chiquita Brands International for human rights violations in Colombia. The Court dismissed the cases for lack of jurisdiction based on the Supreme Court’s 2013 decision in Kiobel v. Royal Dutch Petroleum Co., which held that claims brought under the Alien Tort Statute (ATS) must have a significant connection to the United States. In mechanically applying Kiobel to Plaintiffs´ ATS claims in Chiquita, the Eleventh Circuit panel ignored the major distinctions between the two cases, including that the defendant in Kiobel was a Dutch-British national and all of the relevant conduct took place in Nigeria. Chiquita is a U.S. company that pled guilty in U.S. criminal court for funding a terrorist paramilitary organization in Colombia, and the decisions made by Chiquita that led to the human rights violations against Plaintiffs were made in the U.S. and funded from the U.S. The thousands of Plaintiffs who had family members murdered in Colombia due to Chiquita’s collaboration with terrorist paramilitaries plan to seek further review in the Eleventh Circuit, and if necessary, the Supreme Court.
Press Release   07/25/2014