Daimler cannot be sued under Alien Tort Statute, says US judge

Article by Anita Panait, on December 29, 2013

United States District Judge Shira Scheindlin in New York has ruled that Daimler AG and Rheinmetall AG cannot be held liable for allegedly aiding and abetting the South African government during the apartheid. The companies, along with Ford and IBM, were accused of facilitating race-based crimes by selling vehicles and computers to South African security forces during the apartheid.

Judge Scheindlin, however, ruled that the German companies could not be sued under a 1789 law -- the Alien Tort Statute -- allowing non-US citizens to bring cases in US courts over violations of international law. According to Scheindlin, plaintiffs failed to show that the facts of the case "touch and concern the United States with sufficient force" to justify the law's use.

She, however, did not immediately dismiss related claims against Ford and IBM. The companies had bid for a dismissal after a federal appeals court in August 2013 sent the case back to Scheindlin for a decision, while opining that the claims appeared "plainly barred" by a recent Supreme Court ruling.

Plaintiffs include South Africans and family members who claimed they were victims of race-based crimes, including torture and extrajudicial killings, by South African security during the apartheid, which ended on 1994 when the country conducted its first all-race elections. Both Robert Zimet, a lawyer for Rheinmettal, and Han Tjan, a spokesman for Daimler, welcomed the ruling.

"We are hopeful that this ruling will put a final end to this litigation that went on for over 10 years," Tjan remarked. Scheindlin's order is the latest result of a US Supreme Court decision that limited the ability of human rights plaintiffs to use the Alien Tort Statute to file lawsuits against companies for alleged improper collusion with foreign governments.

Topics: daimler, lawsuit

If you liked the article, share on:

Comments

Login or Create new account to add a comment!

Recommended

The Shooting Brake is probably the least rendered body shape in the automotive world. But it’s also the most sought after design among car nuts for its unique, old-fashioned charm....
by - January 23, 2017
Perhaps to make the upcoming Valentine’s day more special, Tinder dating app and Ford UK have cooked up a special blind date for all the single blokes and chicks in...
by - January 23, 2017
2017 is undeniably a very busy year for BMW. After introducing the new 4-Series, the German automaker has just released several new updates. In relation to this, BMW is also...
by - January 23, 2017
The renowned Shelby Super Snake is now 50 years old! As we greet the Super Snake a “happy birthday” or a “happy anniversary,” Shelby itself is celebrating half a century...
by - January 23, 2017
Nearly a year after the Subaru XV Concept was unveiled at the 2016 Geneva Motor Show in Switzerland, this SUV study is making its North American debut at the 2017...
by - January 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