Cases & Deals

Energy company successfully resists Alien Tort Statute suit

Client(s) Energy company

An energy company represented by Jones Day obtained dismissal of a putative class action relating to Saddam Hussein's tortious activities in Iraq. The case presented significant and controversial issues concerning the ability of foreign plaintiffs to sue corporations in U.S. courts, under the Alien Tort Claims Act ("ATS") and the Torture Victim Protection Act ("TVPA"), for violations of human rights by foreign governments. The plaintiffs, Iraqi victims of human rights violations by the Saddam Hussein regime, alleged that the energy company made payments outside the auspices of the United Nations' Iraq Oil-for-Food Programme to acquire Iraqi oil, and they contended that these alleged payments aided and abetted Iraq's human rights violations. On November 29, 2010, the district court granted the energy company's motion to dismiss the complaint in its entirety, holding, among other things, that corporations are not subject to suit under the ATS and TVPA. That judgment was upheld on appeal.