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USA: Appeals court upholds dismissal of lawsuit alleging Alcolac sold chemical weapons to Saddam Hussein's regime facilitating Kurdish genocide

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19 September 2011

Aziz v Alcolac, Incorporated - Opinion

Author: United States Court of Appeals for Fourth Circuit

We consider in this case whether the Appellants have alleged viable claims under the Torture Victim Protection Act ("TVPA"), 28 U.S.C. § 1350, note, or the Alien Tort Statute ("ATS"), 28 U.S.C. § 1350. The Appellants filed a class action complaint under these statutes, alleging that Defendant Alcolac...a chemical manufacturer, sold thiodiglycol...to Saddam Hussein's Iraqi regime, which then used it to manufacture mustard gas to attack Kurdish enclaves in northern Iraq during the late 1980s...In granting Alcolac's motion to dismiss pursuant to Fed. R. Civ. P. 12(b)(6), the district court held that corporations are not subject to suit under the TVPA, and that the Appellants had not pleaded facts sufficient to support a reasonable inference that Alcolac provided TDG to Iraq with the purpose of facilitating genocide against the Kurds, which the district court determined was an element of a claim under the ATS.

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19 September 2011

Court affirms dismissal of poison-gas lawsuit [USA]

Author: Associated Press

A federal appeals court has upheld the dismissal of a lawsuit alleging the chemical company Alcolac...illegally sold chemical-weapons materials to the Saddam Hussein regime in the 1980s. A three-judge panel of the 4th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals unanimously agreed Monday with a federal judge in Maryland who ruled that Alcolac, as a corporation, cannot be held liable under the Torture Victim Protection Act. Judge Marvin Garbis also found that the plaintiffs, a group of expatriate Iraqi Kurds, had not established that Alcolac provided chemicals to Iraq for the purpose of facilitating genocide against the Kurdish people. The appeals court said the plaintiffs failed to demonstrate Alcolac intended to aid and abet violations of international law. [also refers to Rhodia]

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