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30 Aug 2013

Michael D. Goldhaber, in Litigation Daily (USA)

The Global Lawyer: The State of Play After Kiobel [Subscription required]

For a zombie doctrine, alien tort had a lively late summer. [In August]…U.S. judges handed down no fewer than five post-Kiobel rulings. And although alien tort plaintiffs see four rays of hope, their most ambitious claim of all took a stake through the heart…Explosive alien tort claims against KBR and Arab Bank each failed…for lack of a strong U.S. connection. However, both companies continue to face claims under a different federal statute…[In]…Balintulo v. Daimler…Judge Jose Cabranes fired the fatal bullet by concluding: “[I]f all the relevant conduct occurred abroad, that is simply the end of the matter under Kiobel.” It was a sad moment for corporate accountability, but I can't quibble with his reading of Kiobel…[P]laintiffs can draw constructive lessons from the courts’ high summer human rights spree…[and] should try to assert parallel claims under federal laws that are expressly extraterritorial…Of course, each is limited to its own narrow circumstances...

Part of the following timelines

Apartheid reparations lawsuits (re So. Africa)

KBR lawsuit (re human trafficking in Iraq)

Arab Bank lawsuit (re terrorist attacks in Israel)