Analysis of US lawsuit against Drummond for alleged complicity in murder of Colombian union leaders - first Alien Tort Claims Act case to reach trial

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24 July 2007

'Drummond not part of the conflict,' official says

Author: Russell Hubbard, Birmingham News [US]

The president of Drummond's Colombian coal-mining unit testified Monday the company never paid illegal armed groups and made no agreements with any. "We don't make payments to illegal groups or make agreements," Augusto Jimenez testified in U.S. District Court in Birmingham….Jimenez and Drummond Ltd. are defendants in the lawsuit that was filed in 2002. A Colombian labor union and the families of three slain labor organizers said in their civil suit that Birmingham-based Drummond paid right-wing militia gunmen for their 2001 killings.

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23 July 2007

United States: Corporate Liability For Human Rights Abuses Goes On Trial

Author: Eric A. Savage & Michael G. Congiu, Littler Mendelson, P.C. on Mondaq

The extent of corporate liability for alleged human rights abuses committed abroad under the Alien Tort Claims Act is currently being tested in the Northern District of Alabama. The plaintiffs...allege that Alabama-based mining company Drummond Ltd. ("Drummond") was complicit in the murders of three union leaders at a Drummond-owned coal mine in Columbia. [T]he case presents a unique opportunity to test the extent of corporate liability under the Alien Tort Claims Act (ATCA)…. Significantly, the Drummond case is the very first ATCA case to proceed to trial. [also refers to Unocal (now part of Chevron)]

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