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24 Jul 2014

Jonathan Stempel, Reuters

Chiquita wins dismissal of U.S. lawsuits over Colombian abuses

Chiquita…has won the dismissal of U.S. lawsuits by more than 4,000 Colombians who sought to hold the produce company liable for the deaths of relatives killed in their country's bloody civil war. By a 2-1 vote, a panel of the 11th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals…said…that U.S. courts lack power to review the claims because all relevant conduct took place outside the country…[The plaintiffs] sought to hold Chiquita liable under laws such as the Alien Tort Statute…But in April 2013, the U.S. Supreme Court…said the 1789 law is presumed to cover only violations in the United States, unless violations elsewhere "touch and concern" U.S. territory "with sufficient force." Writing for the 11th Circuit majority, Circuit Judge David Sentelle…said that limit barred the Chiquita lawsuits, even if it made it harder to fight human rights abuses.

Part of the following timelines

US appeals courts issue conflicting rulings on companies' liability for extraterritorial impacts in lawsuits against CACI & Chiquita

Chiquita lawsuits (re financing paramilitaries in Colombia, filed in the USA by Colombian nationals)