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Lawsuit

20 Mar 2009

Drummond lawsuit (re paramilitary killings in Colombia, filed in the US by children of deceased labour leaders)

Status: CLOSED

Incident date
March 20, 2009
Unknown
Children
Location of Filing: United States of America
Location of Incident: Colombia
Type of Litigation: Transnational

Companies

Drummond United States of America Mining

Sources

Snapshot: Starting in 2002, family members of Colombian nationals killed by the paramilitary group AUC filed lawsuits against Drummond alleging that the company hired the paramilitary group to commit the killings or was otherwise liable for aiding and abetting the group. This case profile looks at a lawsuit filed in March 2009 in the US by children of deceased Colombian labour leaders.

Baloco et al. v. Drummond Company, Inc.

In March 2009, the children of three slain Colombian union leaders filed a new lawsuit in US federal court against Drummond alleging the company's complicity in the killings.  Another lawsuit was filed in US federal court against Drummond in May 2009 alleging that the company had made payments to the paramilitary group United Self-Defense Forces of Colombia (known by its Spanish acronym AUC) to kill labour leaders.  Drummond has denied these allegations.  While a lower court dismissed the lawsuit brought by the union leaders' children, on 3 February 2011 the federal court of appeals reversed this dismissal and remanded the case to the lower court.  The court of appeals found that the children did have standing to pursue their claims against Drummond and remanded their previously dismissed claims under the Alien Tort Claims Act and the Torture Victim Protection Act for further proceedings at the trial court level.  On 25 July 2013 the district court judge dismissed the case against Drummond finding that the court no longer had jurisdiction to hear the case, citing the US Supreme Court's decision in Kiobel v. Shell. On 23 September 2014, a US federal appeals court affirmed a lower court’s order from 2012 to dismiss the lawsuit against Drummond on the basis that the “allegations and evidence…do not show conduct focused in the United States.”

- Children Sue Ala. Company In Colombian Mine Deaths, Jay Reeves, AP, 20 Mar 2009

- US District Court for the Northern District of Alabama: Balcero Giraldo, et al. v. Drummond Company - Memorandum Opinion Granting Summary Judgment, 25 Jul 2013
- Balcero Giraldo, et al. v. Drummond Company - Defendant's Motion for Summary Judgment, 17 Sep 2012