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19 Jul 2010

Lee G. Dunst, New York Law Journal

On the Frontier of Alien Tort Claims

Since the 1980s, civil plaintiffs have attempted to use the Alien Tort Claims Act to hold private corporations responsible in U.S. courts for alleged human rights violations committed abroad…[T]he Court [in Sosa v. Alvarez-Machain] failed to define an "international law norm," and, as a result, many lower courts have allowed a wide latitude for foreign plaintiffs to continue filing their human rights claims under numerous theories…This "Wild West" environment of litigation under the act could be transformed, however, if the U.S. Supreme Court were to step in and grant a certiorari petition. To date, this has not happened...[Also refers to lawsuits against Bayoil, Coca Cola, Drummond, El Paso, NuCoastal, Pfizer, Rio Tinto, Shell, Talisman]

Part of the following stories

Rio Tinto lawsuit (re Papua New Guinea)

Talisman lawsuit (re Sudan)

Coca-Cola lawsuit (re Colombia)