Supreme Court decision bars foreign cases

The Supreme Court reversed a Ninth Circuit decision, saying a case taking place entirely on foreign soil with foreign participants cannot be tried in U.S. courts.
Posted By Gabrielle Levy   |   Jan. 14, 2014 at 12:47 PM   |   Comments

| License Photo
Jan. 14 (UPI) -- The Supreme Court ruled unanimously Tuesday, saying foreign corporations could not be sued in U.S. court by foreign plaintiffs over violations that took place in a foreign country.

The suit was brought on appeal by Daimler AG after a California court ruled it could be sued over human rights abuses during the so-called "Dirty War" in Argentina 30 years ago.

In a decision written by Justice Ruth Bader Ginsberg, the court said the German-based automaker's connections to California were not enough to sue there for abuses allegedly committed by a subsidiary in the 1970s in Argentina.

The plaintiffs, workers and their relatives who worked at a Mercedes-Benz plant in Argentina, were suing over the company allegedly punishing workers who managers saw as union agitators.

"Exercises of personal jurisdiction of such breadth... are barred by due process constraints," Ginsburg said. Under the plaintiffs' argument, she said, "if a Mercedes-Benz vehicle overturned in Saudi Arabia injuring a driver and passengers from Norway, the injured persons could maintain a design defect suit in California."

The case, Daimler AG vs. Bauman, is the second case dealing with multinational companies being sued in U.S. courts. In Kiobel vs. Royal Dutch Shell in April, the Supreme Court found a New York court could not hear claims from 12 Nigerians for a crackdown on workers in Nigeria.

SCOTUS: Daimler AG v. Bauman

Follow @gabbilevy and @UPI on Twitter.
Contact the Author
© 2014 United Press International, Inc. All Rights Reserved. Any reproduction, republication, redistribution and/or modification of any UPI content is expressly prohibited without UPI's prior written consent.
Recommended UPI Stories
Featured UPI Collection
Notable deaths of 2014 [PHOTOS]

Notable deaths of 2014 [PHOTOS]

Most Popular
Why the fake braces trend may be dangerous for users
Jared Leto 'stopped eating' for his 'Dallas Buyer's Club' role
Gisele Bundchen, Tom Brady drop $14M on Manhattan home
Kelly LeBrock arrested for DUI
Brandi Brandt faces drug charges in Australia
Trending News