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Lawsuit

18 Feb 2014

Author:
Business & Human Rights Resource Centre

ExxonMobil lawsuit (re Aceh)

See all tags

Status: ONGOING

Date lawsuit was filed
18 Feb 2014
Unknown
Location of Filing: United States of America
Location of Incident: Indonesia
Type of Litigation: Transnational

Companies

Anglo American United Kingdom Mining
ABB Switzerland Engineering
Archer Daniels Midland (ADM) United States of America Agriculture & livestock
American Express United States of America Finance & banking
Orano (formerly Areva) France Mining, Nuclear energy
AngloGold Ashanti South Africa Mining
Amgen United States of America Biotechnology
Alstom France Diversified/Conglomerates
Arab Bank Israel Finance & banking
AirScan United States of America Security companies
adidas Germany Clothing & textile, Footwear, Retail, Sporting goods
BHP Australia Mining
BP United Kingdom Oil, gas & coal
BASF Germany Chemical: General
BT United Kingdom Technology, telecom & electronics
British American Tobacco United Kingdom Tobacco
Bank of America United States of America Finance & banking
Barclays United Kingdom Finance & banking
BNP Paribas France Finance & banking
Brylane (formerly part of Pinault Printemps-Redoute now Kering) United States of America Clothing & textile
Blackwater United States of America Security companies
Biwater United Kingdom Water companies
Bridgestone Japan Tire
Body Shop (part of Natura) United Kingdom Cosmetics
Cambior Canada Mining
Cisco Systems United States of America Technology, telecom & electronics
Coca-Cola United States of America Food & beverage
Citigroup United States of America Finance & banking
Chiquita United States of America Agriculture & livestock
Caterpillar United States of America Construction machinery & vehicles
Cargill United States of America Food & beverage
Carrefour France Supermarkets & grocery
Chentex India
Computer Sciences (CSC) United States of America
Control Risks United Kingdom Auditing, consulting & accounting
CACI United States of America Military/defence
Credit Suisse Switzerland Finance & banking
Comcast United States of America Media & publishing: General
Coca-Cola FEMSA Mexico Food & beverage
Chevron United States of America Oil, gas & coal
Drummond United States of America Mining
Dole United States of America Agriculture & livestock
Deutsche Bank Germany Finance & banking
Dow Chemical United States of America Chemical: General
Del Monte Foods United States of America Agriculture & livestock
DynCorp United States of America Military/defence
Daimler AG Germany Automobile & other motor vehicles
DaimlerChrysler (now Daimler) Germany Automobile & other motor vehicles
ExxonMobil United States of America Oil, gas & coal
Eastman Kodak United States of America Photographic
Freeport-McMoRan United States of America Mining
Ford United States of America Automobile & other motor vehicles
Fresh Del Monte Produce United States of America Food & beverage
PT Freeport Indonesia (part of Freeport-McMoRan) United States of America Mining
General Electric (GE) United States of America Diversified/Conglomerates
General Motors United States of America Automobile & other motor vehicles
Gap United States of America Clothing & textile
Gulf Oil LP United States of America Oil, gas & coal
Grupo México Mexico Construction, Mining, Railroad, Engineering
Halliburton United States of America Diversified/Conglomerates, Military/defence, Oil, gas & coal
The Home Depot, Inc. United States of America Retail
HP Inc. (Hewlett-Packard) United States of America Technology, telecom & electronics
Hudbay Minerals Canada Mining
IBM United States of America Technology, telecom & electronics
ING Netherlands Finance & banking
Johnson & Johnson United States of America Pharmaceutical
JPMorgan Chase United States of America Finance & banking
Kellogg Brown & Root (KBR) United States of America Engineering, Security companies
Levi Strauss United States of America Clothing & textile
Mitsubishi Group Japan Food & beverage, Chemical: General, Electrical appliance, Finance & banking, Mining, Technology, telecom & electronics, Transport: General
Marathon Oil United States of America Oil, gas & coal
McDonald's United States of America Food & beverage
Monsanto (part of Bayer) United States of America Agriculture & livestock
Mobil Oil (part of ExxonMobil) United States of America Oil, gas & coal
Myanmar Oil & Gas Enterprise (MOGE) Myanmar Oil, gas & coal
Mercedes-Benz (part of Daimler) Germany Automobile & other motor vehicles
Monterrico Metals (part of Zijin) United Kingdom Mining
Nestlé Switzerland Food & beverage
Norsk Hydro (Hydro) Norway Metals & steel, Energy
Novartis Switzerland Pharmaceutical
Nike United States of America Sporting goods, Clothing & textile, Footwear
Newmont (formerly Newmont Goldcorp) United States of America Mining
Novo Nordisk (part of Novo Group) Denmark Pharmaceutical
Nexen United Kingdom Oil, gas & coal
Occidental Petroleum United States of America Oil, gas & coal
Pfizer United States of America Pharmaceutical
PricewaterhouseCoopers United Kingdom Auditing, consulting & accounting
Premier Oil United Kingdom Oil, gas & coal
Pertamina Indonesia
Pemex Mexico Oil, gas & coal
PTT Thailand Oil, gas & coal
Petroecuador Ecuador Oil, gas & coal
Panamco Mexico Food & beverage
Kering (formerly PPR, Pinault-Printemps-Redoute) France Clothing & textile, Luggage, backpacks & bags
Rio Tinto United Kingdom Mining
Shell plc Netherlands Oil, gas & coal
Suncor Canada Oil, gas & coal
Standard Chartered United Kingdom Finance & banking
Severstal Russia Metals & steel
Equinor (formerly Statoil) Norway Oil, gas & coal
Talisman (part of Repsol) Canada Oil, gas & coal
Tate & Lyle United Kingdom Agriculture & livestock
TotalEnergies (formerly Total) France Oil, gas & coal, Energy
Target United States of America Supermarkets & grocery
TIAA-CREF United States of America Finance & banking
Trafigura Beheer Netherlands Oil, gas & coal
Texaco (part of Chevron) United States of America Oil, gas & coal
UBS Switzerland Finance & banking
Union Carbide (part of Dow) Chemical: General
United Technologies United States of America Diversified/Conglomerates
Veolia (formerly Vivendi Environnement) France Energy, Waste disposal, Water companies
Vedanta Resources United Kingdom Metals & steel, Oil, gas & coal
Wells Fargo United States of America Finance & banking
Walmart United States of America Supermarkets & grocery
Yahoo! (part of Verizon) United States of America Internet & social media
Zijin China Metals & steel, Mining
Transocean Switzerland Oil, gas & coal
Bursa Malaysia Malaysia Stock exchanges
Singapore Exchange Singapore Stock exchanges
Tahoe Resources (part of Pan American Silver) United States of America Mining
Firestone Natural Rubber (part of Bridgestone) United States of America Rubber
American Sugar Refining United States of America

Sources

Snapshot: In 2001, eleven Indonesian villagers filed a lawsuit against ExxonMobil in US federal court alleging that the company was complicit in human rights abuses committed by their security forces in the province of Aceh. In July 2015, after years of legal proceedings, a federal court ruled that the plaintiffs' claims could proceed in US court. The case is ongoing.

In 2001, eleven Indonesian villagers filed suit against ExxonMobil in US federal court alleging that the company was complicit in human rights abuses committed by Indonesian security forces in the province of Aceh.  The plaintiffs maintain that ExxonMobil hired the security forces, who were members of the Indonesian military, to protect the natural gas extraction facility and pipeline which ExxonMobil was operating.  The plaintiffs further claim that ExxonMobil knew or should have known about the Indonesian military’s human rights violations against the people of Aceh.  The plaintiffs allege that they suffered human rights violations, such as murder, torture and rape, at the hands of these security forces. 

On October 14, 2005, a US federal judge ruled that the plaintiffs’ case may proceed on District of Columbia (DC) state law claims (which include wrongful death, theft by coercion and assault and battery), but he dismissed the plaintiffs’ federal claims under the Alien Tort Claims Act and the Torture Victim Protection Act.  On March 2, 2006, a US federal judge denied a motion to dismiss filed by ExxonMobil, and ordered the parties to proceed toward discovery in this case.  In January of 2007, the US Court of Appeals for the DC Circuit denied ExxonMobil's appeal of the lower court's denial of its motion to dismiss.  Additionally, the court of appeals denied ExxonMobil's petition for a writ of mandamus to compel the lower court to dismiss the claims against the company.  In July of 2007, ExxonMobil appealed to the US Supreme Court (petitioned for a writ of certiorari).  On 13 November 2007, the US Supreme Court invited the US Solicitor General to file a brief expressing the views of the executive branch on this petition.  On 16 June 2008, the US Supreme declined to hear this case.  On 27 August 2008, the US District Court for the District of Columbia ruled on a motion for summary judgment filed by ExxonMobil; the judge declined to grant the defendants’ motion.  The judge found that the plaintiffs had presented sufficient preliminary evidence to support their allegations of abuse and therefore the case should be submitted to a jury for trial.  On 30 September 2009, the US District Court ruled on another motion to dismiss from the defendants.  The judge granted ExxonMobil's motion to dismiss the case finding that the plaintiffs did not have standing to bring the case in a US court.  On 8 July 2011, the Court of Appeals reversed the district court's dismissal of the case, finding that a corporation should not be immune from liability under the Alien Tort Claims Act.  The court remanded the lawsuit to the lower court.  ExxonMobil filed a motion with the Court of Appeals on 8 August 2011 asking the court to rehear the case en banc.

In November 2021, plaintiffs' lawyers filed a motion to set a trial date, which could happen in the Spring of 2022.

In April 2022, a US judge ordered ExxonMobil to pay $288,900.78 in legal fees and expenses to the plaintiff's lawyer following a botched deposition in 2020.

On 22 July 2022, a US District Judge denied some of ExxonMobil’s attempts to have the case dismissed and ruled that case can go to trial.

- Indonesian ExxonMobil accusers get day in court after 21 years, Al Jazeera, 27 Jul 2022

-ExxonMobil issued rare penalty in ongoing Indonesian rights case, Al Jazeera, 20 Apr 2022

-ExxonMobil Indonesia lawsuit heads for trial after 20 years, Associated Press, 31 Dec 2021

- "Exxon Wants Rehearing in Corporate Liability Dispute", Mike Carcella, Blog of the Legal Times, 10 Aug 2011
- "Appeals Court Revives Torture Claims Against Exxon", Mike Scarcella, Blog of the Legal Times, 8 Jul 2011
- "Judge Dismisses Indonesians' Lawsuit Against Exxon", Brent Kendall, Dow Jones, 30 Sep 2009

- “Judge Rejects Summary Judgment in Human Rights Lawsuit Against Exxon”, Mike Scarcella, Legal Times, 28 Aug 2008

- "Exxon faces lawsuit on killings in Indonesia", Bloomberg News, Associated Press, 17 Jan 2007
- "Exxon: Torture suit sets bad precedent", Slobodan Lekic, Associated Press, 8 Mar 2006

- “ExxonMobil Rejects Aceh Human Rights Abuse Claims”, Kirsty Alfredson, CNN.com, 22 Jun 2001

- ExxonMobil: Human Rights Policy

- Cohen, Milstein (co-counsel for the plaintiffs): ExxonMobil - Aceh, Indonesia

- International Rights Advocates (co-counsel for the plaintiffs): ExxonMobil: Case Summary (includes links to legal briefs filed in this case)

- [PDF] John Doe VIII, et al. v. Exxon Mobil Corporation, et al. - Petition for Rehearing En Banc, 8 Aug 2011
- [PDF] Exxon Mobil Corporation v. John Doe I – Petition for a Writ of Certiorari, Reply Brief in Support of Petition, 23 Oct 2007

- [PDF] Exxon Mobil Corporation v. John Doe I – Petition for a Writ of Certiorari, Respondents’ Brief in Opposition, 9 Oct 2007

- [PDF] Exxon Mobil Corporation v. John Doe I – Petition for a Writ of Certiorari, 20 Jul 2007

- US State Department: [PDF] Amicus Brief filed in Doe et al. v. ExxonMobil et al., 14 Jul 2003

- International Rights Advocates: [PDF] Complaint filed for Doe et al. v. ExxonMobil et.al., 11 Jun 2001

- US Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia: [PDF] John Doe VIII, et al. v. Exxon Mobil Corporation, et al. - Opinion of the Court, 8 Jul 2011
- US District Court for the District of Columbia: [PDF] John Doe VIII, et al. v. Exxon Mobil Corporation, et al. - Memorandum Opinion, 30 Sep 2009 

- US District Court for the District of Columbia: [PDF] John Doe, et al. v. Exxon Mobil Corporation, et al. - Memorandum & Opinion, 27 Aug 2008

- US Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit: [PDF] Doe et al. v. ExxonMobil, 12 Jan 2007

Timeline