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Attorney uses obscure law to sue U.S. companies

As a lawyer for the United Steelworkers, the 38-year-old Mr. [Dan] Kovalik is using an obscure law [known as the Alien Tort Claims Act] passed in the 1700s to target pirate ships in order to sue American companies for alleged crimes committed overseas....Mr. Kovalik's most prominent case, against an Alabama coal company [Drummond Company] accused of being complicit in the murders of three labor union leaders, is on route to being the first...[Alien Tort Claims Act] case [against an American company] to go to trial....Drummond unilaterally denies any knowledge of or involvement in the killings, saying in a statement released last week that it "has not nor will it make any payments, agreements or transactions with illegal groups and emphatically denies that the company or any of its executives has had any involvement with the murder of the three labor union leaders." [also refers to DaimlerChrysler, ExxonMobil, Wal-Mart]