Apartheid cases vs Ford and IBM revived in Manhattan

Article by Christian A., on April 21, 2014

United States District Judge Shira Scheindlin in Manhattan has accepted an argument from a group of plaintiffs that corporations like Ford Motor Co. and IBM may be held liable under the 1789 Alien Tort Statute, thereby reviving a 12-year old lawsuit claiming that the corporations encouraged race-based human rights abuses in apartheid-era South Africa decades ago.

The Alien Tort Statute allows non-US citizens to pursue some cases in US courts over alleged violations of international law. Scheindlin wrote in her decision that no principle of domestic or international law supports the conclusion that the “norms enforceable through” the Alien Tort Statute apply only to natural persons and not to corporations.

The 2nd U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals had said in in August 2013 that the lawsuit should be dismissed. Diane Sammons, a partner at Nagel Rice law firm who represents some plaintiffs, remarked that "Judge Scheindlin is “not taking the word of the defendants” that corporations are not liable for human rights abuses under the 1789 law.

Sammons disclosed that is planning to file an amended complaint. The plaintiffs argued that by supplying military vehicles and computers to South African security forces, several corporations in the 1970s, 1980s and early 1990s had aided and abetted the country’s former apartheid government in committing abuses like killings and torture.

The litigation seeks class action status. In April 2013, the US Supreme Court limited the coverage of the Alien Tort Statute, in the case Kiobel et al v. Royal Dutch Petroleum Co et al., holding that the 1789 law was presumed to cover only violations of international law occurring in the US. It also held that violations elsewhere must "touch and concern" US territory "with sufficient force to displace the presumption." [source: Reuters]

Topics: ford

If you liked the article, share on:

Comments

Recommended

Are you a big fan of legendary boxer Mike Tyson, the former heavyweight world champion? Or are you a big fan of the iconic Ferrari F50? Either way, you will...
by - February 24, 2017
It seems that AM-RB 001 hypercar is not the only vehicle project that Aston Martin and Red Bull Racing has gone into. This time, don’t expect something as outlandish as...
by - February 24, 2017
The year 2018 marks the golden anniversary of Subaru of America. Of course, the company will celebrate 50 years of being at the helm of the brand’s crusade in North...
by - February 24, 2017
During car crashes and accidents, there are times that its occupants can’t get out easily. There are times when the only way to get out of that situation is to...
by - February 23, 2017
Could this be a special version of Ferrari’s much acclaimed LaFerrari? No matter how we look at it, the patent images for this sports car from Ferrari indicate its striking...
by - February 23, 2017
Facebook

Youtube Channel

Tip Us
Do you have a tip for us?
Did you film an important event?
Contact us
Newsletter
Subscribe to our newsletter!
Subscribe
Galleries