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Nestlé petitions US Supreme Court to throw out case by former child slaves of Côte d'Ivoire cocoa plantations

“Nestle Asks Justices To Nix Foreign Child Slavery Suit”, 28 Sep 2015 [Subscription required]

Nestle and other food industry behemoths have asked the Supreme Court to toss the Ninth Circuit's ruling that three anonymous former child slaves on Mali cocoa plantations can sue the corporations under the Alien Tort Statute…The Ninth Circuit held last year that the three anonymous plaintiffs had sufficiently alleged Nestle USA Inc., Archer Daniels Midland Co. and Cargill Incorporated Co. had aided and abetted slavery through their pursuit of low-cost cocoa in the Ivory Coast.  In a petition for writ of certiorari filed on Sept. 18, the corporations said that standard would drastically expand application of the foreign tort law…The plaintiffs…alleged they were forced to work 14-hour days with little food and endured whippings and beatings, and that the defendants knew about the abhorrent conditions but continued to support the cocoa farmers in order to keep the commodity as inexpensive as possible. The district court dismissed the case…[I]n September 2014...the Ninth Circuit reversed that holding allowing the suit to go forward…Nestle and its co-petitioners argue there were major flaws in the Ninth Circuit's holding, [including] when the court held the plaintiffs sufficiently alleged aiding-and-abetting because they had claimed the corporations sought the cheapest cocoa possible while knowing child slavery could result…The three cocoa buyers also want the high court to decide whether corporations are subject to liability under the Alien Tort Statute...

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