Chiquita Plaintiffs Take Alien Tort Case to High Court [Subscription required]
Months after a federal appeals court rejected efforts to hold Chiquita…liable for facilitating war crimes in Colombia, [a lawyer has] filed a Supreme Court petition on behalf of thousands of Colombians who allege their relatives were murdered by the United Self-Defense Forces…, or…a paramilitary group that Chiquita has admitted to supporting. The…petition…challenges a July decision by the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Eleventh Circuit, which found that Chiquita's alleged conduct didn't have enough connection to the U.S…."The Chiquita case clearly meets the test set out in Kiobel," [the plaintiff’s lawyers] said…."We have a U.S. corporation making decisions from the [U.S.] to finance terrorism in violation of U.S. law, and our nation has a strong interest in addressing this ..."…"Much as plaintiffs would like to portray it differently, there is no denying that their complaints assert claims for alleged violence in Colombia, by Colombians, against Colombians," said [Chiquita’s lawyers]… "The Eleventh Circuit's decision that the ATS does not provide jurisdiction for such claims is entirely consistent with Kiobel." With the high court appeal, the plaintiffs in the Chiquita case are looking to put the brakes on the federal courts' recent narrowing of the Alien Tort Statute's scope and its application to overseas conduct.