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26 Mar 2009

Jonathan Drimmer of Steptoe & Johnson, Corporate Counsel

Five Tips to Avoid the Human Rights Litigation Trap

For multinational corporations facing allegations of human rights abuses, the stakes have never been higher. Last winter, Chevron Corp. stood trial in an Alien Tort Claims Act case…, accused of responsibility for murder and torture carried out by the Nigerian military. In April an ATCA trial is set to begin against…Shell…, also for torture and murder by Nigerian forces. A trial…, to determine Exxon Mobil Corp.'s liability to Indonesian villagers over alleged killings and torture by Indonesian soldiers should take place later this year. Given the vast potential damages in these cases, along with the dramatic harm of accusations of complicity in human rights violations, attention to ATCA and human rights issues must be a priority for companies doing business overseas. [also refers to Rio Tinto, Pfizer]

Part of the following timelines

Rio Tinto lawsuit (re Papua New Guinea)

Chevron lawsuit (re Nigeria)

ExxonMobil lawsuit (re Aceh)